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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May 31, 2016

In Their Own Words — Holder

 “WE CAN CERTAINLY ARGUE ABOUT THE WAY IN WHICH SNOWDEN DID WHAT HE DID, BUT I THINK THAT HE ACTUALLY PERFORMED A PUBLIC SERVICE BY RAISING THE DEBATE THAT WE ENGAGED IN AND BY THE CHANGES THAT WE MADE.”

Former US Attorney Eric Holder on former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.  Click here for more.

May 31, 2016

Whistleblower News From The Inside — May 31, 2016

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

 Former US Attorney Eric Holder says Snowden performed a public service — Holder says the former NSA whistleblower “performed a ‘public service’ by setting off a national debate over global surveillance, but that the fugitive must still face the ‘consequences’ for leaking classified information.  CSM

Senate investigation finds “systemic” failures at VA watchdog — “A Senate investigation of poor health care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis., found systemic failures in a VA inspector general’s review of the facility that raise questions about the internal watchdog’s ability to ensure adequate health care for veterans nationwide.”  USA Today

Trial involving 2 whistleblower cops threatens to expose code of silence — “Chicago police Officers Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria say they risked their careers — and possibly their lives — exposing a team of dirty cops who ran their own criminal fiefdom at a South Side housing complex.”  Chicago Tribune

Corruption still a global blight after all these years — “The World Bank estimates that more than $1 trillion is paid in bribes annually throughout the world and the World Economic Forum puts the annual global cost of corruption at more than 5% of the world’s total GDP.”  Forbes

Lionel Messi’s tax fraud trial opens in Barcelona — The Argentina soccer star is accused of defrauding Spain of more than four million euros.  France24

Fired clerk says she’s vindicated by whistleblower retaliation verdict — A jury awarded former Clatsop County, Oregon clerk Kennedy Grimes $400,000 for being fired for disclosing information she believed was evidence of the county violating the law, mismanagement, wasting funds and abusing authority.  Register Guard

May 27, 2016

DOJ Catch of the Week — Prime Healthcare

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

This week’s Department of Justice “Catch of the Week” goes to Prime Healthcare Services.  On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced its decision to intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act against Prime, its founder and CEO Dr. Prem Reddy, and 14 Prime hospitals in California.  The government alleges that at Dr. Reddy’s direction, these hospitals engaged in unnecessary inpatient admissions from their emergency rooms.  See DOJ Press Release. click here for more »

May 27, 2016

In Their Own Words — Saugy

–The “weak link is the person who receives the samples…The weakness is perhaps based on how big the proposed envelope (bribe) is.”

Martial Saugy, the head of the anti-doping laboratory where Olympic samples are kept, discussing sample switching in the laboratory.  Click here for more.

 

May 27, 2016

Whistleblower News From The Inside — May 27, 2016

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Swiss anti-doping chief backs Russian whistleblower — The head of the Lausanne’s anti-doping laboratory where Olympic samples are kept, Martial Saugy, said Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov would have no reason to lie.   Yahoo 

Big smack down on McDonalds — French police have searched McDonald’s headquarters outside Paris after a probe was opened for alleged aggravated tax fraud and money-laundering against the local branch of the fast-food company.  Chicago Tribune

Theranos hit with class action lawsuit over blood testing technology — Theranos, which has come under fire in recent months for allegations that its proprietary finger-prick blood testing technology is subpar, is now the focus of a class action lawsuit accusing the company of consumer fraud.  Healthcare Finance

Senator Casey testifies at Congressman Fattah’s corruption trial — Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey testified for the prosecution in the trial of Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who is accused of trying to land an ambassadorship for a friend in exchange for a bribe.  ABC News

Summit Wealth Management CEO pleads guilty to $35 million fraud scheme – The government alleges that from on or about 2004 until 2012, the president and CEO started several funds and lied that money would be invested in hedge funds and debt securities and managed by professional investment managersAtlanta Business Journal  

Tips from Snowden on phone privacy – Snowden offers tips on how to protect yourself from seemingly harmless apps that can secretly control mobile device’s cameras, microphones and other sensors.   Tech Times

May 26, 2016

In Their Own Words — Kerr

— “This ruling is a warning to other states that PETA will challenge ‘ag-gag’ laws, we will win, and it will be costly for the state.”

Jeffrey Kerr, general counsel of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), on a recent ruling ordering Idaho to pay nearly $250,000 to cover the animal rights group’s legal fees following a suit that challenged a rule criminalizing whistleblowing investigations of the meat industry. Read more here.

May 26, 2016

Whistleblower News From The Inside — May 26, 2016

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Bank of America penalty thrown out, but whistleblower keeps $58M reward – Ed O’Donnell, the whistleblower whose tip led to a $1.27 billion fine levied on Bank of America for its high-speed mortgage selling scheme, will keep his $58 million reward, despite an appellate ruling reversing the bank’s penalty. Wall Street Journal

New York pharmacist pleads guilty to Medicare, Medicaid, and tax fraud – Pharmacist and pharmacy owner Andrew Barrett pled guilty to falsely billing $2.7M to government health care programs for HIV-AIDS medications he never dispensed, siphoning over $2.6M for personal expenses, and falsifying his tax returns; he faces up to 10 years in prison, criminal forfeiture, and fines. USAO Eastern District of New York

Missouri cardiologist pleads guilty to Medicare fraud – Former cardiologist Randall Meyer has resigned his license and awaits sentencing after admitting he exaggerated the severity of 14 patients’ arterial health in 2010 to fraudulently garner higher Medicare reimbursements. Cardiovascular Business

Liberian politician arrested in international corruption scandal – Liberian lawyer Varney Sherman, the chairman of Liberia’s ruling Unity party, was arrested Wednesday and accused of bribing Liberian government officials on behalf of British firm Sable Mining. The Guardian

Illinois physician pleads guilty to healthcare fraud – Dr. Charles Dehann faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 after admitting he submitted bills to Medicare for in-home treatment of deceased patients. USAO Northern District of Illinois

Report finds South African whistleblower protections are lacking – A Corruption Watch report based on a survey of 36 companies traded on the Johannesburg stock exchange concluded that although South Africa has some commitment to transparency, whistleblower protections are lacking. News 24

May 25, 2016

Question of the Week: Do U.S. Whistleblowers Require More Financial Incentives Than Their Counterparts in the U.K. or Australia?

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

America’s whistleblower programs are fairly unique in offering a financial reward to whistleblowers.  Other nations, including Great Britain and Australia, have been reluctant to offer financial incentives for whistleblowers to come forward.  Authorities in those countries contend that it is enough to rely on a person’s sense of civic duty to report corporate malfeasance.  Indeed, some authorities have suggested that financial rewards do not work and might even be counter-productive.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said in 2014 that it could see “no empirical evidence of incentives leading to an increase in the number or quality of disclosures.”  Creating financial incentives would represent “a substantial shift in UK policy norms, which are very different to those in the US.”  More forcefully, the same report warned against the “moral and other hazards” caused by offering financial rewards to whistleblowers in the financial sector, including the danger that “paying significant sums to high-income individuals for fulfilling a public duty could reinforce perceptions that the financial sector is at odds with the rest of society, particularly given the Government’s decision not to introduce financial incentives for whistleblowers generally.”  Other bodies have also questioned whether financial rewards are a significant incentive.  The Quebecois financial authority, for example, recently studied various countries’ programs and concluded that “the protection of confidentiality is what primarily motivates whistleblowers to report incidents.”  click here for more »

May 25, 2016

In Their Own Words — Goelman

— “We will vigorously continue to investigate any efforts to manipulate financial benchmarks, and we will take action where possible to protect the integrity of these benchmarks.”

The CFTC’s Enforcement Director, Aitan Goelman, commenting on recent settlements with Citibank over charges that the bank manipulated trading benchmarks.

May 25, 2016

Whistleblower News From The Inside — May 25, 2016

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

New organization opens doors to protect 1st Amendment – The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University will focus on protecting one of the Constitutional protections whistleblowers rely upon most.  Miami Herald

Former NBA All-Star indicted for charity fraud – Kermit Washington, remembered most for nearly killing another player on-court with a punch to the face, has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, corruptly interfering with IRS laws, obstruction of justice, and aggravated identity theft.  DOJ

CFTC hits Citibank with $425 million in penalties for manipulating trading benchmarks – The commodities regulator settled charges that the bank and its affiliates manipulated various LIBOR rates as well as a global trading benchmark.  CFTC and CFTC

Vanguard lawyer’s whistleblower retaliation case dismissed – A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by David Danon, a former tax lawyer for the investment group, despite having the support of the SEC.  The Philadelphia Inquirer

Government joins whistleblower case against Prime Healthcare – Karin Bernsten, a registered nurse at the company, alleged that the hospital chain defrauded Medicare by billing for patients as admitted inpatients as opposed to outpatients.  Modern Health Care