Linda Reed, the former Xerox/Conduent employee who recently brought a lawsuit to be recognized as the original whistleblower in the $235 million Texas/Xerox/Conduent Medicaid fraud settlement, has filed further motions with the District Court in Travis County to have other latecomer joint relators disqualified from any award and to strike their motion for it.
Claim to be original whistleblower
Ms. Reed worked for Xerox/Conduent in their orthodontic prior authorization department and blew the whistle on the allegedly fraudulent nature of the process in early 2007.
Close ties to OAG
The other relators, represented by lawyers from the Dallas law firm Waters & Kraus, Houston lawyer Jim Moriarty and another Dallas attorney, per their own press release announcing their motion to seek the award, only entered the fray in 2012.
Waters & Kraus and Moriarty have close ties to the Office of Attorney General as they were hired and paid $250,000 back in 2013 to represent the OAG and HHSC-OIG in the Antoine Dental SOAH Medicaid fraud payment hold hearing in which Antoine Dental prevailed.
Byron Harris more worthy
Bryon Harris, former WFAA investigative reporter who broke the story in early 2011 of the massive orthodontic spending in Texas, would be a more worthy individual than these people.
Reed's motion to disqualify these johnny-come-lately relators calls them "parasitic."
"The qui tam mechanism has historically been susceptible to abuse by ‘parasitic’ relators who bring damages claims based on information within the public domain or that the relator did not otherwise uncover. See Graham County Soil and Water Conservation Dist. v. U.S. ex rel. Wilson...That is exactly the case here..
"This motion presents evidence that the joint relators’ claims are barred because: 1) the settlement contains no funds that can be attributed to the TMFPA claims, 2) there can be only one “first” relator, 3) the State filed similar actions based on the same claims well before the first alleged “joint relator” filed their claim, and the facts regarding Xerox’s prior authorization process were publicly disclosed years before the first “joint relator” filed their claim."
In the motion to strike the other relators' claim, Reed's pleadings state:
"The alleged “joint relators” have no standing to file pleadings in this case because they have not intervened or otherwise appeared on behalf of any party in this case. In addition, the “joint relators” are not actually relators in this case; to the extent they are relators in other Medicaid fraud cases they may have some ability to lay claim to the judgment or settlement in those other cases, but they have no standing to do so in this case. Therefore, Linda Reed moves that their “Motion for Determination of Relators’ Share” be struck because the “joint relators” do not have standing."
It will be interesting to see what the court decides in this matter.