Eva GunasekeraOf Counsel
Her background includes enforcing these laws at the Justice Department:
- The False Claims Act/The Whistleblower Law
- The Stark Law—prohibiting financial rewards for physician-self referrals
- The federal Anti-Kickback Law—prohibiting financial rewards for referrals
Before joining Finch McCranie LLP to represent whistleblowers in 2017, Eva Gunasekera was a Federal Prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice for nearly a decade. Ms. Gunasekera rose quickly and was promoted to chair the Civil Division’s Health Care Fraud practice as Senior Counsel. In this role, she had oversight of and analyzed complex health care data sets, including Medicare and Medicaid payment data and trends to identify potentially fraudulent practices. Ms. Gunasekera had significant responsibility evaluating companies’ compliance with numerous federal laws aimed at deterring fraud. She gained extensive experience investigating, litigating, and resolving cases involving the fraudulent practices of pharmaceutical manufacturers, health care providers, hospitals, physicians, physician groups, laboratories, managed care providers, pharmacies, hospice and nursing home providers, government suppliers, and defense contractors. Some of Ms. Gunasekera’s cases involved parallel criminal proceedings. In 2015, she was a lead counsel on a several-month health care fraud trial, one of the most complex False Claims Act trials in recent history. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Ms. Gunasekera worked in private practice at two international law firms. While in private practice, she handled complex commercial litigation and administrative trials.
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 2004
M.A., summa cum laude, Public Administration, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio , 2001
B.A., summa cum laude, Political Science and Government, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 2001
At the Justice Department, Eva investigated, litigated, and settled dozens of cases brought by whistleblowers in federal district courts throughout the United States, with more than $500 million in False Claims Act recoveries. These matters included violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law and all federal health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, FEHB):
- A $300 million False Claims Act settlement, a 5 year corporate integrity agreement, and a criminal guilty plea to obstruction of justice and other charges by a drug company that allegedly illegally marketed several drugs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor drugs or SSRI) with serious side effects that it knew were not approved by the FDA to treat depression in children and adolescents; used high pressure sales tactics with physicians to get them to prescribe these drugs and paid the doctors cash and other kickbacks disguised as grants or consulting fees, expensive meals and lavish entertainment.
- A $45 million payment, a 5 year corporate integrity agreement, and a criminal guilty plea by a pharmaceutical manufacturer involving off-label marketing of a steroid drug with dangerous side effects.
- A $38 million settlement alleging that a drug company paid kickbacks to physicians to induce them to write drug prescriptions for patients who had heart conditions, fibromyalgia, or dementia.
- A $35 million settlement and a guilty plea by a drug company that allegedly misled patients and physicians about the intended uses of a drug designed to treat patients with a rare disorder that negatively impacted their cholesterol levels.
- A $26 million settlement involving a managed care contractor that failed to provide required screening, assessment and case management for adults, and children with special health care needs and submitted false data to a cash-strapped state Medicaid program to avoid penalties.
- A nearly $20 million settlement involving an oncology provider for alleged fraudulent billing for medically unnecessary urine tests involving bladder cancer and for paying doctors bonuses to order these tests.
- A $12 million settlement in just under 9 months—from the filing of the case to settlement—involving a physician and a cancer center that allegedly billed for radiation oncology services that were not medically necessary for the patient, were not properly supervised by doctors, or were upcoded—a practice in which the provider bills for procedures that are paid at a higher rate when, in fact, those procedures were not actually performed.
- An $8 million dollar settlement involving a radiology center that allegedly gave patients an intravenous chemical called contrast dye during MRI scans without proper physician supervision and paid doctors kickbacks for referring patients for medical procedures.
- A $7 million dollar settlement involving a hospital that allegedly submitted Medicare claims for fraudulent oncology services.
- A several million dollar settlement and a precedent-setting period of exclusion from participating in the federal health care programs involving a physician and his practice group for allegedly performing unnecessary, but highly invasive peripheral artery procedures on patients.
- Numerous settlements involving hospice companies that allegedly certified patients as terminally ill, thereby preventing them from receiving curative care, and fraudulently submitted inflated Medicare claims on behalf of other patients. The cases resulted in trial, criminal indictments of an executive and other hospice employees, and millions of dollars in recoveries.
- Millions of dollars in settlements in cases involving providers, including a large medical center, for alleged fraudulent administration of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)—a sophisticated radiation treatment for specific types of cancer where extreme precision is required to spare patients’ surrounding organs or healthy tissue.
- A settlement involving a defense contractor for charging unallowable costs on an army contract related to identity intelligence analysis support services.
- Millions of dollars in settlements in cases relating to alleged fraud in the contracting process involving the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which undermined the integrity of the government procurement process.