— “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
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.
As reported in the NYTimes, CNN, and other news outlets.
Barclays, its former chief executive and three other former senior managers were criminally charged on Tuesday over agreements the bank struck with Qatar as it sought to avoid a government bailout during the 2008 global financial crisis.
The executives charged include former CEO John Varley and Roger Jenkins, Barclays’ former head of investment banking in the Middle East. The pair also face a second charge of conspiracy to commit fraud over an October 2008 deal with a group of Qatari investors. click here for more
Contractor’s database of nearly every voter was left exposed on the Internet for 12 days — Detailed information on nearly every U.S. voter — including in some cases their ethnicity, religion and views on political issues — was left exposed online for two weeks by a political consultancy which works for the Republican National Committee and other GOP clients. WaPo
Charter Oak Health Center settles whistleblower case — Hartford-based Charter Oak Health Center and its former CEO have agreed to settle a six-year-old whistleblower case in which authorities had accused the company of firing three employees in retaliation for addressing public health concerns, the Labor department said Monday. Hartford Business
Can I Submit Anonymous Tip to SEC Whistleblower Office? Chapter 2 — Yes, but only if you have an attorney represent you in connection with your submission. National Law Review
In March of this year, attorney Eric Conn pleaded guilty to running a scheme to defraud Social Security of $600 million. Conn was out on bond pending his plea deal being approved. On June 2, Conn cut off his court-ordered GPS monitoring bracelet and threw it out on a highway. He has not been heard from since. Conn was facing up to 12 years in prison and was ordered to pay $83.2 million in fines and penalties. The FBI believes that Conn is likely still in the United States.
Conn’s schemes involved bribing doctors and a judge to process and approve his clients’ disability claims. From 2006 to 2016, Conn processed approximately 1,700 applications for Social Security benefits totaling approximately $550 million in lifetime benefits. Since the revelation of Conn’s scheme, his clients have been contacted by the Social Security Administration claiming they owe as much as $100,000 for receiving disability payments going back ten years unless they can prove they were disabled for the entire time. In many cases, Conn destroyed the medical records of his clients making proving the ten year disability a near impossibility. click here for more
Scott White, personal attorney to fugitive attorney Eric Conn, commenting on the need for Conn to surrender to the FBI before his sentencing next month.
Genesis Healthcare Inc. Agrees to Pay Federal Government $53.6 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Relating to the Provision of Medically Unnecessary Rehabilitation Therapy and Hospice Services — The Justice Department announced today that Genesis Healthcare Inc. (Genesis) will pay the federal government $53,639,288.04, including interest, to settle six federal lawsuits and investigations alleging that companies and facilities acquired by Genesis violated the False Claims Act by causing the submission of false claims to government health care programs for medically unnecessary therapy and hospice services, and grossly substandard nursing care. Genesis, headquartered in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, owns and operates through its subsidiaries skilled nursing facilities, assisted/senior living facilities, and a rehabilitation therapy business. DOJ
Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group — A former employee of Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises — owner of M Burger, Wow Bao and dozens of other eateries — is accusing the restaurant group of harassing and ultimately firing her for refusing to participate in activities she believed were illegal and for reporting them to her supervisors, according to a lawsuit filed under the state’s Whistleblower Act. Cristina Griffith, who was an office manager at one of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurants from January 2014 until Oct. 11, 2016, alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court that the harassment began in April 2016. Chicago Tribune
Sepp Blatter After the Fall: ‘Why the Hell Should I Bear All the Blame?’ — In any account of the extraordinary rise and fall into corruption of football’s world governing body, Fifa, since the landmark 1974 election of the Brazilian president João Havelange, Sepp Blatter has to be a central figure. His expulsion at the age of 79 by Fifa’s ethics committee, terminating his fifth stint as president, was as precipitous as a fall can be: from being courted by prime ministers and presidents, to a ban from any activities relating to football. He is not impressed with whistleblowers in general, even criticising Yuliya Stepanova, who had recently exposed the Russian state doping of athletes, the great scandal breaking over athletics. “She wants to go to the Olympics, and now everybody says it is a shame she can’t go because she is a whistleblower. Before long whistleblowers will be allowed to go to everything,” he sneered. “Because if you are a whistleblower, it’s not correct as well.” Startled by that statement, I asked him to clarify; was he saying whistleblowers are not correct? “No,” he confirmed. “At school, if you had somebody who was a whistleblower towards the tutor, then …” and he trailed off, as if it was obvious. “Do you still think that?” I asked. “Yes.” “That they are like a snitch in school?” “Yes, yes,” he said. The Guardian
A mother and daughter who secretly co-owned and operated seven home health care agencies in the Miami, Florida area were each sentenced to over 10 years in prison for their roles in a $20 million Medicare fraud conspiracy that involved paying illegal health care kickbacks to patient recruiters and medical professionals.
Mildrey Gonzalez, 61, and her daughter, Milka Alfaro, 39, both of Miami, were sentenced to 135 and 151 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. The defendants were further ordered to pay approximately $22,900,000 in joint and several restitution. Mother and daughter each pleaded guilty on March 2, having been charged in a July 2016 superseding indictment. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of health care fraud, while Alfaro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud. click here for more
The Chief of the Department of Justice criminal division, Kenneth Blanco, commenting on health care fraud. Click here for more.
Former Swiss banker pleads guilty to money laundering soccer scheme — A private banker formerly employed by several Swiss banks pleaded guilty in Brooklyn, New York, to a criminal information charging him with participating in a money laundering conspiracy in connection with the distribution and receipt of millions of dollars of bribes paid to high-ranking soccer officials. DOJ
Barclays hirings under US scrutiny — The US DOJ is scrutinizing whether Barclays breached antitrust laws by promising to stop poaching JPMorgan Chase bankers, in another blow for the British lender’s chief executive, Jes Staley. The DOJ asked Barclays for more information on discussions between its top brass and senior JPMorgan executives following a string of high-level departures from the US bank to its British rival. The hiring spree followed the appointment of Mr Staley, himself an alumnus of the Wall Street bank, as Barclays’ chief executive in December 2015. FT
Russian whistleblower tests ‘found no toxins’ — Alexander Perepilichnyy was allegedly killed in Surrey in 2012 after helping a specialist investment firm uncover a $230m Russian money laundering operation. An expert allegedly found a suspect compound that could have matched the properties of a plant poison. Reviewing those findings, Dr. Fiona Perry found caffeine and alcohol but could not say if he was poisoned. Dr. Perry said: “I can say that none of the substances covered by our tests were detected apart from caffeine and low levels of alcohol. But I cannot say whether or not he was poisoned. I do not give a cause of death. I only do a test for various substances.” BBC
In the midst of the bedlam surrounding President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, a curious source has spoken out in Comey’s defense: Edward Snowden.
Snowden tweeted “this FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you.” A startling showing of support from the world’s most notorious whistleblower. But Snowden’s backing of Comey should not be misconstrued. It is unlikely an endorsement of the former FBI boss who led the charge to put Snowden behind bars. Instead, Snowden’s outreach is more likely about defending the position in which both Comey and Snowden found themselves, albeit from very different paths. That is, trying to bring truth to power. Click here to read the full article.