The Government of Bermuda has filed a lawsuit against Lahey Clinic asserting that the Lahey and the former Premier of Bermuda, Dr. Ewart Brown created scheme to assure that Lahey would become the healthcare provider of choice for Bermudians. In a Complaint filed in the Federal District Court in Boston this week, the Government of Bermuda alleged that this scheme, spanning over two decades resulted in Lahey receiving preferential treatment when bidding healthcare contracts issued by Bermuda. In return, Mr. Brown received substantial sums of money from Lahey disguised as consulting fees.
The case alleged that the scheme violated the Racketeer Influenced and corrupt Organization Act (RICO) for injuries suffered to its business and property and also for violations of the foreign Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits bribes to foreign officials or their family members. The Complaint alleges that Lahey’s formal relationship with Brown began in 1997 when Brown served as Shadow Minister for Human affairs. At that time, according to the Complaint, Lahey began sending Massachusetts based specialist physicians to Bermuda to serve in a clinic there, owned by Brown.
The Complaint also asserts that in addition to paying Brown hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees, Lahey also made large donations to Brown’s political party.
In addition to allegations of improper influence, the Complaint alleges that Lahey, Brown and his clinics have conducted excessive and medically unnecessary diagnostic images to increase reimbursements received through health insurers.
It is not clear from the Complaint how much money is bring sought from Lahey for the wrongdoing alleged.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.