A federal magistrate judge has struck a key witness and ordered the U.S. Justice Department to pay legal fees to HCR ManorCare Inc., one of the country’s largest providers of skilled nursing facilities, for alleged missteps in a case the government touted in the crackdown on fraud in the health care industry.

The Justice Department jumped into the whistleblower case in Alexandria, Virginia, federal district court in 2015, alleging Maryland-based ManorCare routinely submitted millions of dollars in reimbursements to the government for unnecessary therapy services. The government alleged a six-year nationwide scheme, starting in 2006, to maximize revenue. The company runs nearly 300 facilities across the country.

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