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 24, 2014

Whistleblower News From The Inside

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Northrop must face whistleblower suit — A judge rejected Northrop Grumman’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit by a former employee who accused the defense contractor of defrauding the U.S. government in performing a contract to develop a missile defense system for commercial aircraft.  Reuters

Vanguard lashes out at lawyer-turned-whistleblower – Vanguard Group has responded to a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the company failed to pay $1 billion in taxes with accusations of betrayal, theft and ethics violations the company says should bar the whistleblower, the company’s former tax lawyer, and his lawyers from bringing the complaint. Philly.com

Cloning whistleblower says little has changed in S. Korea — The whistleblower who exposed breakthrough cloning research as a devastating fake says South Korea is still dominated by the values that allowed science fraudster Hwang Woo-suk to become an almost untouchable national hero.  Washington Post

UNC Whistleblower Mary Willingham speaks out – Ms. Willingham said the Wainstein report released this week outlines the breadth and depth of academic fraud at UNC, substantiating what she’s been saying for years, and that the focus now should be on the issues and institutions, not the people involved in the scandal.  WralSportsFan

New Jersey whistleblower law fails — Legislators failed to pass a measure aimed at protecting employees who disclose government abuse in the wake of the George Washington Bridge closure scandal.  Asbury Park Press

MLS suspends referee after arrest for fraud — A Major League Soccer referee who officiated dozens of league games over the past three seasons was suspended on Thursday after he was arrested for claiming more than $14,000 in unemployment benefits while he was employed.  New York Times

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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 24, 2014

DOJ Catch of the Week — DaVita

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

This week’s Department of Justice “catch of the week” goes to DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., one of the leading providers of dialysis services in the United States.  On Wednesday, the Denver-based company agreed to pay $400 million to resolve claims it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks for patient referrals to its dialysis clinics.  It apparently is the largest ever False Claims Act settlement solely covering kickbacks in the healthcare industry.  See DOJ Press Release.

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October 23, 2014

Report on UNC Scandal Finds 18 Years of Academic Fraud

By Marlene Koury

UNC just released a report on the academic scandal that has plagued its African and Afro-American Studies department since former UNC learning specialist Mary Willingham blew the whistle on the department’s sham classes. The report found that, during an 18 year period, more than 3,100 students enrolled in the department’s “paper classes” and nearly half of those students were student athletes, many of whom were from the “revenue sports” of football or men’s basketball.

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October 23, 2014

FBI Whistleblower Program Undergoing Overhaul

By Jason Enzler

The FBI’s whistleblower rules are set for a significant expansion. According to a letter made public this week from the Department of Justice to Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, the agency will make changes to eleven areas of its program. Once implemented, the new rules would give FBI whistleblowers protections more similar to those available to other government employees.

Under the new rules, FBI whistleblowers will have access to mediation, the right to receive compensatory damages, equal access to witnesses, and decisions on their matters published. The list of officials to whom whistleblower reports can be made will be expanded, training will be implemented, and annual reports on the whistleblower program will be published. Unlike other government employees, however, the new FBI whistleblower rules will not afford whistleblowers the right to judicial review.

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October 23, 2014

Whistleblower Goes it Alone and Wins Big in Guardrail Case

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

A federal jury in Texas this past Monday came down hard against highway guardrail maker Trinity Industries in a whistleblower action brought by one of Trinity’s competitors, a guardrail installer named Joshua Harman.  He claimed Trinity cut corners on its guardrails, did not come clean with the government, and ultimately put millions of motorists at serious risk.  The jury agreed with Harman’s charges and rendered a $175 million verdict against the company.  If it stands, the award automatically will be tripled under federal law and could climb as high as $800 million if other statutory fines and penalties are thrown into the mix.

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October 22, 2014

Whistleblower News from the Inside

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Miami physician assistant sentenced to 15 years for Medicare fraud scheme – The sentence is for a P.A.’s participation in a Medicare fraud scheme involving approximately $200 million in fraudulent billings by American Therapeutic Corporation, a mental health company headquartered in Miami.  DOJ

New York expands probe of Ocwen Financial – The mortgage-servicing company is claimed to have backdated thousands of letters to borrowers that prevented them from being able to promptly correct problem loans.  WSJ

False Claims Act settlement in cardiologist case – Two Kentucky cardiologists have agreed to pay $380,000 to settle False Claims Act allegations that they entered into bogus management agreements with a hospital in exchange for patient referrals.  Modern Healthcare

Defense contractor settles False Claims Act lawsuit – Science Applications International Corporation will pay $1.5 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that it knowingly engaged in prohibited conflicts of interest as a contractor for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Corporate Crime Reporter

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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 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.