FACT CHECK: Did Beau Biden And David Weiss Get A Fraud Conviction In 2010?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

The Washington Post reported that deceased Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and current U.S. Attorney for the district of Delaware David Weiss got a fraud conviction in 2010.

Verdict: Misleading

It was a settlement for a lawsuit, not a fraud conviction, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Washington Post later corrected its reporting.

Fact Check:

Weiss was named special counsel by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as part of the DOJ’s investigations into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, according to NBC News. Weiss was already investigating Hunter prior to the naming, the outlet reported.

The Washington Post reported that Weiss and Hunter’s deceased brother, Beau Biden, worked together. The Washington Post reported, “When Delaware’s acting U.S. attorney David C. Weiss celebrated a fraud conviction in 2010, he was joined by a key partner in the case: Beau Biden, the state’s attorney general.” (RELATED: Did Hunter Biden Take Money From China?)

However, this reporting appears to be misleading. There was no criminal case. Instead, it appears that Weiss and Biden settled a lawsuit with the Christiana Care Health System (CCHS) in March 2010.The CCHS paid $3.3 million to “resolve allegations that CCHS violated federal and state False Claims Acts designed to combat fraud and misuse of federal and state healthcare funds,” according to a DOJ press release from the time.

The press release states:

“The claims against CCHS were filed in April 2005 by two Wilmington, Delaware neurologists, individually and through their practice, as part of a qui tam lawsuit. That suit remained under seal until late last week. The qui tam suit alleged, among other things, that CCHS submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid by certifying that it was in compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations when CCHS knew that it had an impermissible financial relationship with a group of Wilmington, Delaware neurologists who referred patients to CCHS in violation of federal and state law.”

There is no mention of any conviction in the press release. Weiss said at the time, “Ensuring that public health care dollars are spent in accordance with the law is of importance to all of us, particularly so now as Congress debates health care reform. Physician referrals cannot be clouded by improper financial incentives.”

The February 2010 settlement agreement between the CCHS and the DOJ and its partners, published on the DOJ’s website, also does not mention any criminal convictions. The News Journal and the Newark Post reported on the settlement at the time. Neither outlet reported that Beau Biden or Weiss secured convictions in the case.

Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP, which represented the individuals who filed a lawsuit against CCHS, stated it was a “whistleblower lawsuit” in a press release. This press release did not mention any convictions.

“The correct term would be settlement,” Kim Reeves, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in Delaware, told Check Your Fact in an email. Mat Marshall, a spokesperson for the Delaware Attorney’s General office echoed Reeves, telling Check Your Fact that the term “settlement is accurate. This was a non-criminal matter.”

The Washington Post later issued a correction. The correction reads,”Earlier versions of this story incorrectly referred to a fraud case that was concluded in 2010. The case ended in a settlement not a conviction. The story has been corrected.”

Check Your Fact reached out to the Washington Post for comment.

Update 8/23/2023: This article has been updated with a response from the Delaware Attorney General’s office.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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