Whistleblower Insider

Whistleblower Insider is written by the Constantine Cannon law firm team of experienced qui tam and whistleblower lawyers. It is updated daily to provide the latest whistleblower and fraud news and developments.
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October 21, 2014

Whistleblower News from the Inside

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Guardrail maker loses hundred million dollar whistleblower suit – A Texas jury finds highway guardrail maker Trinity Industries violated the False Claims Act by defrauding the government with defective guardrail systems.  The jury awarded $175M, to be tripled, in this case originally filed by whistleblower and Trinity competitor Joshua Harman.  NYT

In Memoriam: Rick Piltz, Climate Science Champion and Bush-Era Whistleblower – The Government Accountability Project “mourns the passing of our dear friend Rick Piltz, a climate science whistleblower and hero who died early Saturday morning after a fight with cancer.”  GAP

Bechtel withholds documents in whistleblower retaliation probe – The Department of Energy Inspector General says it could not determine if a whistleblower on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was fired for raising safety concerns because government contractor Bechtel National and its subcontractor URS Energy and Construction refused to provide all the documents needed in the investigation.  AP

President of Houston hospital convicted in $158M Medicare fraud scheme – A federal jury in Houston convicts Earnest Gibson III, president of Riverside General Hospital, and his son for paying kickbacks to patient recruiters and operators of group care homes in exchange for their delivery of ineligible Medicare beneficiaries for mental health services medically unnecessary or never provided.  DOJ

5 strategies to minimize whistleblower risk Although it may seem counterintuitive, whistleblowers can be an effective part of any company’s compliance program.”  Inside Counsel

Forex-rigging fines could reach $41B – The cost for banks to settle US and European investigations into the fixing of foreign-exchange benchmarks could reach $41B according to Citigroup analysts, with Deutsche Bank, Barclays and UBS topping the list.  Bloomberg

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If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.

October 17, 2014

Whistleblower News from the Inside

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Whistleblower nurse describes chaos at TX Ebola hospital – A nurse at the hospital said she watched the hospital “violate basic principles of nursing care, of medical care,” saying that materials used to treat suspected Ebola patients were left festering in corridors for days, suspected Ebola patients were wheeled around the hospital without protection, and doctors were told it was acceptable to move patients between rooms without disinfecting.  Telegraph

SEC chair praises “enormously successful” whistleblower program – During a visit in Toronto on Thursday to speak at a conference organized by the Ontario Securities commission, SEC head Mary Jo White said the program in the United States “has yielded very significant information on very serious securities fraud.”  Financial Post

Prison for man accused of forging Jasper Johns artwork – Foundry owner sentenced to two and a half years for his attempt to sell an unauthorized copy of Jasper Johns’ iconic “Flag” sculpture for $10 million.  Courthouse News

SEC charges Athena Capital Research with fraudulent trading – The SEC sanctioned a New York City-based high frequency trading firm for placing a large number of aggressive, rapid-fire trades in the final two seconds of almost every trading day during a six-month period to manipulate the closing prices of thousands of NASDAQ-listed stocks.  SEC

Merck settles Medicaid fraud charges – Merck’s Organon unit agreed to pay $31 million to several states for allegedly failing to include discounts in its pricing and paying kickbacks to nursing home pharmacies to encourage use of its antidepressant.  Wall Street Journal

Public anger may lead to bigger banking fines in U.K. – Chief of U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said the regulator consults with the U.K.’s Prudential Regulation Authority banking supervisor to ensure fines don’t put banks at risk of failure, but notes that public outcry may lead to larger fines similar to those levied in the US.  Bloomberg

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If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.

October 17, 2014

DOJ Catch of the Week — Sikorsky Aircraft

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

This week’s Department of Justice “catch of the week” goes to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.  Yesterday, the DOJ joined a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act against the aircraft maker and two of its subsidiaries, Sikorsky Support Services Inc. and Derco Aerospace Inc.  Sikorsky Aircraft is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, with its headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut.  See DOJ Press Release.

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October 16, 2014

Court Approves Statistical Sampling in False Claims Act Cases

By Jason Enzler

A district court has upheld the use of statistical sampling in a False Claims Act case. As the court discussed in its decision, the use of sampling in False Claims Act litigation is not new. But it generally has been limited to establishing damages or to cases where the use of sampling is not contested. In United States ex rel. Martin v. Life Care Centers of America, Inc., however, the court approved the use of sampling to establish liability under the False Claims Act.

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October 16, 2014

Snowden Documentary Citizenfour is a Must See

By Marlene Koury

Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour is not a documentary about Edward Snowden. It is a gripping film about strategy, surveillance, and high-stakes whistleblowing. The film documents Ms. Poitras and fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald’s meeting with “Citizenfour” – the handle Snowden used in his first anonymous emails to her – over an eight-day period in Hong Kong to plot how to expose his proof that the US government had been extensively surveilling its citizens.

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October 16, 2014

Big Week for Whistleblowers — Three Major False Claims Act Victories

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

In what has shaped up to be one of the more prolific weeks for whistleblowers, the government has settled three major False Claims Act cases originated by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the statute. They involved nursing home operator Extendicare Health Services Inc., aerospace and defense industry giant Boeing Company, and drug maker Organon. All together, the government collected more than $90 million from these companies in fines and penalties and the whistleblowers walked away with a collective bounty approaching $10 million.

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October 15, 2014

Whistleblower News from the Inside

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Whistleblower says Archbishop must step down — Jennifer Haselberger, former top legal adviser to Archbishop John Nienstedt, and the whistleblower in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis abuse scandal, says the Archbishop should go as should all the top leadership of the Twin Cities archdiocese.  CBS

The encryption tools that made Snowden documentary possible  – Journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras talked about the importance of “crypto” tools, how to make a film in the shadow of the NSA, and a new era of high-level whistleblowing.  Wired

Citigroup uncovers new Banamex fraud – The new $15 million fraud is related to a security services company the bank operated which was originally set up to protect Banamex board members and their families from kidnappers and other attackers, but was found to have been offering its services to third parties.  Reuters

Virginia threatens to remove highway guardrails without further testing – Adding to the growing concern over the safety of guardrails sold by Trinity Industries, Virginia officials threatened to ban the products if the company does not conduct new safety tests to the state’s satisfaction by October 24.  NYT

Bioscan executive guilty of health care fraud and money laundering conspiracy – The company manager pleaded guilty to the charges in a case involving three other alleged co-conspirators that is set for trial next spring.  DOJ

Should police be allowed to Taser you for walking your dog off-leash?  Court rules no, but it is not clear that such practices will stop anytime soon.  Atlantic

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If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.

October 14, 2014

Whistleblower News from the Inside

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

A Portrait of the Whistleblower as a Young Man – New documentary provides “unparalleled look at the historic moment when Ed Snowden told the world that Big Brother is watching.”  Atlantic

Office of Special Counsel comes to rescue of Army whistleblower – The OSC, which protects federal whistleblowers, persuades the Merit Systems Protection Board to halt the Army’s planned termination of a civilian police officer after concluding the firing may be in retaliation for his whistleblowing activity.  Washington Post

Whistleblowers take home $3.9 million in Boeing False Claims Act case – The allegations raised by the four whistleblowers led to Boeing’s agreement last week to pay $23 million to settle charges it improperly ran up the tab on maintenance work for C-17 transport aircraft.  WSJ

Texas sues AstraZeneca for fraud with Seroquel drug – The state claims “AstraZeneca sales reps misled doctors and state Medicaid officials about Seroquel’s side effects, paid kickbacks to two influential state decision-makers, and promoted the powerful antipsychotic for off-label uses.”  FiercePharma

Ireland to close “double Irish” tax loophole – Amid mounting international criticism of the arrangements, which save foreign companies billions of euros, Ireland’s finance minister is expected to announce the end of the tax avoidance scheme.  Guardian

Whistleblower training needed for middle managers – That seemed to be the consensus by whistleblower lawyers as well as defense counsel at a recent panel on the subject.  WSJ

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If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.