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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August 16, 2017

In Their Own Words — Coates

“It’s lamentable, but it’s predictable.  And no one should be surprised.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville. Read more here

August 16, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — August 16, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Whistleblower to Receive $1.59 million in Shipyard Overbilling Case — “The U.S. Department of Justice reports that Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. has agreed to a $9.2 million settlement of allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the government for labor on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships at its shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi.” Marine Log  

Former SEC Attorney Jordan Thomas Raps WSJ Report on Enforcement Activity — “The Wall Street Journal article criticizing  the feds’ level of enforcement this year is off-base, the attorney explains.” CFO.com

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Praises the Country’s Whistleblower Initiative — “The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, says the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government is one of the current administration’s successful initiatives.  The Whistleblower Policy was introduced in December 2016 by the Federal Government as part of the initiatives to wage war against corruption.” The Guardian

August 15, 2017

Deregulation Brings New Threats to Our Food Supply

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

According to a just-released post on the Government Accountability Project’s (GAP) Food Integrity Campaign Blog, the Trump Administration’s focus on deregulation may have particularly dire consequences on the safety of our food supply. There are two pieces of legislation in particular to which we should pay particular heed.

First, is the Regulation Accountability Act which apparently will require federal agencies to adopt the most cost-effective methods of regulating goods, not those most protective of consumers. Also known by some as the “Filthy Food Act,” GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign warns that “[w]ithout proper oversight, stories of sick kids poisoned by salmonella will proliferate, and thousands of needless deaths will occur nationwide. click here for more »

August 15, 2017

In Their Own Words — Edwards

— “OSHA really let these whistleblowers down. If OSHA had done a diligent investigation, there’s a good chance that Wells Fargo would not have spiraled so far out of control.”

Benjamin Edwards, associate professor of law at the University of Nevada, who teaches whistleblower securities law, on OSHA’s treatment of two Wells Fargo whistleblowers. Read more.

August 15, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — August 15, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

How the feds failed two Wells Fargo whistleblowers — “The mishandling of the two cases, detailed in documents and interviews with former OSHA officials, raises questions about the agency’s treatment of whistleblowers throughout the financial services industry.” American Banker

Trump’s business of corruption — “So many partners of the Trump Organization have been fined, sued, or criminally investigated for financial crimes that it is hard to ascribe the pattern to coincidence, or even to shoddy due diligence.” The New Yorker

Midasco settles whistleblower charges of violating Davis-Bacon Act on Virginia I-495 work — The highway contractor agreed to pay $450,000 to settle claims of violating the False Claims Act by not paying workers the prevailing wage required by federal labor standards. DOJ (EDVA)

August 14, 2017

Merck CEO Resigns from American Manufacturing Council and Trump Fires Back

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

The Washington Post details the back and forth between Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Merck, and President Trump following this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia. After President Trump made a statement on the violence in Charlottesville that omitted specific condemnation for white supremacists, Frazier released a statement through Merck’s twitter on Monday morning resigning from the President’s American Manufacturing Council. Frazier said “[o]ur country’s strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs . . . as CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.” click here for more »

August 14, 2017

In Their Own Words — Frazier

— “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal”

Statement of Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier in his resignation from the President’s American Manufacturing Council.

August 14, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — August 14, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Deion Sanders Sanctioned For Discovery No-Show In FCA Suit – A Texas magistrate judge on Friday slapped former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders with a $2,200 sanction after he skipped a discovery hearing in a whistleblower False Claims Act suit tied to his charter school despite being ordered to personally attend. U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez on Friday allowed Sanders’ attorneys to withdraw from representing him after they told the court it would be “impossible to continue” in light of Sanders’ failure to respond to discovery or to attend settlement conferences in the case. And the judge ordered Sanders to turn up at a Sept. 1 show cause hearing at which he faces the potential to have all his pleadings be stricken and a default judgment entered against him after he failed repeatedly to turn over requested documents. Law360

Owner of Home Health Agency Sentenced to 75 Years in Prison for Involvement in $13 Million Medicare Fraud Conspiracy – The owner and director of nursing of a Houston home health agency was sentenced today to 75 years in prison for her role in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme. Marie Neba, 53, of Sugarland, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of the Southern District of Texas.  In November 2016, Neba was convicted after a two-week jury trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, three counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks, one count of payment and receipt of health care kickbacks, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and one count of making health care false statements. DOJ

Lithuanian court upholds extradition of man to U.S. in $100 million fraud case – Lithuania’s top appeals court on Friday upheld a decision to extradite to the United States a Lithuanian man accused of defrauding Facebook and Google out of more than $100 million. According to a U.S. indictment made public in March, Evaldas Rimasauskas is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, which each carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. A further charge of identity theft carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years. The alleged crimes took place in 2013-2015. Rimasauskas will be handed over to the United States within 10 days, the Lithuanian general prosecutors office told Reuters. He had appealed against an extradition ruling made in July. Rimasauskas allegedly swindled $23 million from Google and $99 million from Facebook, the Lithuanian court said in a statement. Reuters

August 11, 2017

Trump’s War on Leaks is Really a War on Whistleblowers

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Constantine Cannon attorneys Harry Litman and Molly Knobler recently opined on the Trump administration’s obsessive campaign against leakers and whistleblowers in comments published by CNN:

No one would quarrel with the Trump administration’s efforts to clamp down on genuine national-security leaks. But his administration has lumped together this traditional law enforcement function with virulent attacks on “leakers” as part of an autocratic campaign to govern in secrecy—and that puts all of us at risk. click here for more »

August 11, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — August 11, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Defense contractor settles FCA suit for $16M – Defense contractor ADS Inc. settled allegations it conspired with small businesses to fraudulently induce the government into awarding small business contracts based on misrepresented eligibility requirements. The settlement also resolves bid rigging allegations. The whistleblowing partnership who brought the suit will receive a $2.9M reward. USAO District of Columbia

Whistleblowers accuse Canadian private-equity company of fraud – At least four whistleblower complaints have been filed with Ontario securities regulators accusing Catalyst Capital Group of artificially inflating the value of its assets and deceiving borrowers about the terms of loans it made. Each of the complainants stand to receive up to 5M CAD if their allegations are accurate and lead to fines. Catalyst’s publicly traded subsidiary, Callidus, which issues loans to private parties, experienced a 21% stock price hit after this news broke. Wall Street Journal

Houston nurse convicted of $20M Medicare fraud scheme – Evelyn Mokwuah, the owner of two home health companies, was convicted of a scheme to bill Medicare for home health services that were either not provided or not medically necessary. According to trial evidence, Mokwuah billed for patients who were not homebound, paid recruiters to send her business, and paid doctors to sign falsified plans of care. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 6. DOJ