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Whistleblower Eligibility

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Whistleblowing As a Civic Duty: Now Is the Time To Act

Posted  10/23/20
By Edward Baker
Whistleblower in Text
With voting in the 2020 election underway and the presidential debates behind us, now is a good time to reflect on the importance of civic duties to the preservation of American democracy.  Voting, paying taxes, serving on a jury, and registering with selective service are all examples of such duties—responsibilities which, if ignored or unfulfilled by enough individuals, will cause the institutional fabric holding...

A Better Approach to Fighting Fraud in West-Virginia: Bring in the Whistleblowers

Posted  10/12/20
By Gordon Schnell, Max Voldman
West-Virginia Capitol Building
(Guest Essay Published in the Dominion Post) As the saying goes, Mountaineers are always free in West Virginia.  Unfortunately, the cost of fraud is not.  And as evidenced by the eye-popping $50 million fraud settlement the federal government just secured from Wheeling Hospital, there is a lot of fraud going around these days.  The problem for the Mountain State is it does not have the proper tools to deal with...

Partner Mary Inman and Theranos whistleblower, Erika Cheung, speak on the Forbes' stage about whistleblowers & corporate accountability

Posted  10/9/20
Male standing with their silhouette as a whistle
On 30 October 2019, Constantine Cannon partner Mary Inman and Erika Cheung, founder of Ethics in Entrepreneurship and a former whistleblower who reported Theranos to health regulators, shared the stage in Detroit at the Forbes 30 under 30 conference to discuss the importance of whistleblowers and corporate accountability, as captured in the video below. The discussions kicked off with Erika’s experience...

NASAA Approves Model Whistleblower Award and Protection Act with Changes Recommended by Constantine Cannon Attorneys

Posted  10/2/20
By Chris McLamb
Silhouette of People Around a Whistle
Earlier this year, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) proposed a Model Whistleblower Award and Protection Act that would help states bolster their securities enforcement by incentivizing whistleblowers.  Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian, Michael Ronickher, and Chris McLamb teamed up with Alexis Ronickher of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP to comment on the proposal, encouraging NASAA...

Wireless Carriers – Government Contracting Fraud ($138.7 million)

Constantine Cannon represented whistleblower OnTheGo Wireless, LLC, in state False Claims Act litigation against the four largest U.S. wireless carriers, AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile, that resulted in the recovery of $138.7 million for the states of California, Nevada, and other jurisdictions, including political subdivisions in those states.  The whistleblower, an industry expert but not an insider at any of the carriers, alleged that the carriers knowingly failed to comply with contractual promises to deliver service “at the lowest cost available,” and provide rate plan “optimization” reports each quarter.  The contracts in questions were cooperative purchasing contracts that allowed different government entities to purchase under the terms and conditions of a master contract negotiated by a lead government agency.  For the carriers, becoming providers under the cooperative purchasing agreements gave them access to a multi-billion dollar market and, eager to have that access, the carriers agreed to provide rate plan optimization, but then, according to the whistleblower, failed to provide it.  The contracts were long-standing and the terms highly specialized.  And, many government agencies agreed to purchase under the contracts based solely on the fact they were put together by the Western States Contracting Alliance (“WSCA”).  This created an opportunity, OnTheGo alleged, that the carriers knowingly exploited to breach their promise to deliver low cost service and rate plan optimization, resulting in hundreds of millions of overcharges to government entities.  Over 30 California political subdivisions intervened in the California action and were also represented by Constantine Cannon; the State of Nevada intervened in the Nevada action. Plaintiffs ultimately recovered $138.7 million, and the whistleblower received a relator share of nearly 40%.  See Press Release and Whistleblower Insider for more.

Putting a Stop to Illegal Imports from Forced Uyghur Labor

Posted  09/18/20
barbed wire
The world has watched in horror as, starting in 2018, up to two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been arrested, relocated, or otherwise forced into internment centers in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.  The government of the People’s Republic of China has separated thousands of Uyghur children from parents, forced methods of control on women, and inflicted physical and psychological...

SEC Whistleblower Awards Keep Rolling In

Posted  09/17/20
a silver whistle on top of a stack of cash
Earlier this week, the SEC announced an award of more than $10 million "to a whistleblower whose information and assistance were of crucial importance to a successful SEC enforcement action."  This brings the total tally under the SEC's Whistleblower Program to $520 million in awards to 94 whistleblowers since the first award in 2012. It also marks the latest in a flood of awards this year, including the $50...

Partner Mary Inman discusses whistleblowing, blackballing and the role of compliance in ComplianceLine webinar "Whistleblowing: Defending the Accuser and the Accused"

Posted  09/4/20
Male standing with their silhouette as a whistle
On 25 August 2020, Constantine Cannon partner Mary Inman joined Charlie Middleton, an international tax whistleblower, and Roy Snell, co-founder of HCCA and SCCE, on a panel moderated by Nick Gallo, CEO of ComplianceLine, during a webinar entitled “Whistleblowing: Defending the Accuser and the Accused,” which discussed the challenges that reporting of wrongdoings poses for whistleblowers and companies. The...

Top Takeaways from Former DOJ Civil Chief Jody Hunt on the Current State of False Claims Act Enforcement

Posted  08/28/20
department of justice website
Law360 recently interviewed former DOJ Civil Chief Jody Hunt on what he sees as the key issues surrounding False Claims Act enforcement these days.  Here are the top takeaways:
    • COVID-relief fraud will be a DOJ priority. No surprise there given the billions of dollars the federal government is pouring into the economy to alleviate some of the financial strain the pandemic is wreaking on healthcare providers...

Windfall to Health Insurers Due to COVID-19 Is Not Yet Resulting in Resolution of FCA Risk Adjustment Cases

Posted  08/21/20
By Edward Baker
As health insurers book record profits during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a dramatic decline in elective surgeries and procedures, this seems like a good time to ask about the status of False Claims Act litigation against Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) relating to risk adjustment fraud.  Given the dire shortfall in state and federal money to fight the pandemic, when will MAOs begin paying back the billions...
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