On April 13, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release noting that Adobe agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations it paid kickbacks to companies in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and False Claims Act (FCA).  

The FCA prohibits any person from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the federal government.  And AKS prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully paying or receiving payment (i.e., anything of value) in exchange for federal healthcare program referrals.  Submitting claims to a federal healthcare program tainted by an AKS violation may also amount to false claims under the FCA, as was the situation for Adobe.

According to the government, Adobe provided companies contracts with the federal government for a percentage of software products purchased under Adobe’s Solution Partner program, which allowed Adobe to acquire favorable treatment.  “The United States contends that these payments constituted prohibited kickbacks that resulted in Adobe causing false claims for payment to be submitted to federal agencies.”

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.  The qui tam provisions provide financial incentives and a procedural structure to whistleblowers – or relators – so individuals could bring false claims act cases on behalf of the government. In this case, three former Adobe managers were whistleblowers. The financial incentive can be significant, as whistleblowers are entitled to 15% to 30% of the money the government recovers, based on several factors.  According to the settlement agreement, the relators will share $555,000. 

The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Dowless v. Adobe, Inc., Civil Action Number 17-cv-02039 (D.D.C.).

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection to health care fraud and False Claims Act litigation. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.