Neil Thompson in Star Tribune’s Whistleblower Series
October 19, 2008
This Sunday, Neil Thompson was featured on the front page of the Star Tribune as part of their Whistleblower series of reporting. From the article:
Secret, double life of a Walgreens druggist
In law school, Thompson had read about the False Claims Act. It dates to the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln wanted to encourage people to turn in war profiteers defrauding the government. Under the law, a tipster can get a cut of any money the government recovers with their help.
“I would have done it even if there wasn’t a reward,” said Thompson, 54. It’s patriotic. You should do it. It saves taxpayers’ money.”
More recently, that law has been used against drug companies, health care providers and others who have skimmed millions from immense federal entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. It’s an unusual process. A lawsuit is filed in secret, and the whistleblower becomes a federal informant. The law offers protection against retaliation if the company discovers the insider.
Thompson and Bieurance enlisted the help of three lawyers: Brian Wojtalewicz, James VanderLinden and Robert Christensen. In February 2005, they contacted the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis. The nation’s largest pharmacist, they said, had been overcharging taxpayers for at least six years. An investigation was started.
Read the entire article here.