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.

May 24, 2015

In Their Own Words – Nijar

— “In fact whistleblowers should be honoured not vilified for having the courage to ‘blow the whistle’ and shout ‘foul’ when any misdeed against the law is suspected.”

Gurdial Singh Nijar, Professor at the Law Faculty, University of Malaya, in the opinion piece “Law Speak – Why shoot the whistleblower?” Click here for more.

May 23, 2015

In Their Own Words – Fuller

— “Unfortunately, denying hacktivists and whistleblowers access to their supporters is an attempt at isolation that is all-too-common.”

Whistleblower advocate Dr. Roslyn Fuller on “the return of ‘anticipatory obedience’ in the financial blockade on support to perfectly legal causes [and] . . . the twisted trial procedures and draconian sentences imposed on whistleblowers and hackers.” Click here for more.

May 22, 2015

In Their Own Words — Snowden

— “Whatever you think about Rand Paul or his politics, it’s important to remember that when he took the floor to say ‘No’ to any length of reauthorization of the Patriot Act, he was speaking for the majority of Americans–more than 60% of whom want to see this kind of mass surveillance reformed or ended.”

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden discussing Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster.   Click here for more.

May 22, 2015

DOJ Catch Of The Week — United Parcel Service

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

This week’s Department of Justice “catch of the week” goes to United Parcel Service.  On Tuesday, the Atlanta-based world-wide package delivery service agreed to pay $25 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the federal government in connection with its delivery of Next Day Air overnight packages.  See DOJ Press Release.

UPS provides delivery services to hundreds of federal agencies through contracts with the US General Services Administration and US Transportation Command (which provides support to Department of Defense agencies).  Under these contracts, UPS guarantees delivery of packages by certain specified times the following day.  But for the past decade, according to the government, UPS engaged in multiple practices to conceal its failure to comply with its delivery guarantees, thereby depriving federal customers of the ability to request refunds for late deliveries.  Specifically, UPS allegedly recorded inaccurate delivery times on packages to make it appear they were delivered on time, applied inapplicable “exception codes” to excuse late delivery (such as “security delay,” “customer not in,” or “business closed”), and provided inaccurate “on-time” performance data under the federal contracts.

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May 22, 2015

Whistleblower News From The Inside — May 22, 2015

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

SEC charges Atlanta firm over public pension funds — The SEC announced fraud charges against Atlanta-based investment advisory firm Gray Financial Group Inc. for allegedly steering public pension fund clients into an investment fund that did not comply with state law, collecting more than $1.7 million as a result.  Reuters

Edward Snowden praises Rand Paul’s anti-Patriot Act ‘filibuster’ — In a Reddit AMA session Thursday, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden praised Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s 10-hour, 31-minute attempt to slow down a vote on renewing the Patriot Act.  Bloomberg

SNP secures Westminster debate on Trident safety — The Scottish National party has secured an adjournment debate in the first week of the new parliament to ensure that allegations by Faslane whistleblower William McNeilly are not “swept under the carpet by the Ministry of Defense.”  The Guardian

Is Libor becoming relevant again? — The  Libor rate rose this week to a more than two-year high, possibly foreshadowing an interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve by the end of year while other indicators such as futures provide more skeptical outlooks.  Bloomberg

Brazil’s economic downturn, corruption scandals shake leader –Lawmakers openly weigh impeaching President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, over an alleged $2.1 billion embezzlement scheme at the state oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro SA. WSJ

Yale Graduate who promoted CrossFit arrested – Authorities arrested serial entrepreneur Joshua B. Newman and charged him with two counts of wire fraud and misappropriating money from more than a dozen investors stemming from his efforts to raise money for several CrossFit training centers he said he planned to own and operate.  Dealbook

May 21, 2015

Wall Street Still Behaving Badly

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, there was both a public and private battle cry of “Never Again!”  Dodd-Frank was passed with its sweeping regulations to keep Wall Street in check, and federal and state enforcers went on regulatory rampage extracting 9 and10-figure settlements from a who’s who list of the world’s top financial firms.  Not many Wall Street institutions have been able to escape the heavy hand of the re-energized Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission that emerged post-recession.  Justice is even starting to obtain criminal pleas from some of the more egregious institutional offenders.  Not to mention sending more individuals to jail for longer periods of time for their financial misdeeds.

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May 21, 2015

FTC Spotlight — Cancer Charities Charged with Cheating Consumers Out of $187M

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

In one of the largest actions ever brought for charity fraud, The FTC and all 50 states filed a complaint against four sham charities: the Cancer Fund of America, Inc. (CFA); Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS); Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA); and The Breast Cancer Society Inc.  The FTC charges that the four phony charities bilked consumers out of nearly $200 million by falsely claiming donations would help pay for pain medication, hospice care and other services for cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer.  But the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families, friends, and fundraisers, spending the donations on luxury vacations, cars, sporting events, clothing, and more.

At the center of the fraud was James T. Reynolds Sr., who started the Cancer Fund of America in 1987.  He expanded the enterprise over the next 25 years to four separate groups and was joined by his son, friends and members of his Mormon Church congregation in Knoxville, Tenn.  According to the complaint, they used a variety of means to extract money from consumers, including telemarketing calls, direct mail, websites, and materials distributed by the Combined Federal Campaign, which raises money from federal employees for non-profit organizations, to portray themselves as legitimate charities.

In the FTC press release, Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said “cancer is a debilitating disease that impacts millions of Americans and their families every year. The defendants’ egregious scheme effectively deprived legitimate cancer charities and cancer patients of much-needed funds and support.”  Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring added that “the allegations of fundraising for personal gain in the name of children with cancer and women battling breast cancer are simply shameful…I hope [this action] serves as a strong warning for anyone trying to exploit the kindness and generosity of others.”

The FTC has put together a website to assist consumers in avoiding charity scams, providing tips to help consumers be sure their money goes to good charities doing the work they promise to be doing, rather than to fraudsters out to swindle donations for their own gain.

May 21, 2015

In Their Own Words — Moore

— “The proposed criminal fine and sentence in this case should sound the alarm to food companies across the country – we are watching, and we are expecting you to hold yourselves to a standard reflective of the trust that your consumers have placed in you.  No more excuses.  A lot of people got very sick because of the conduct in this case and we are committed to doing all we can to make sure that does not happen again.”

Michael Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, speaking about the Conagra settlement of salmonella poisoning charges.