The COVID-19 Crisis, Whistleblowers, and the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Team
As Constantine Cannon announced earlier this week, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we have implemented contingency plans to work remotely. While our work locations have changed, we remain dedicated to our whistleblower clients, and our team continues to provide whistleblowers with support and legal guidance.
With offices in New York, D.C., San Francisco, and London, the Constantine Cannon whistleblower team sees events unfolding up close and around the world. It is clear that all of us will feel the impact of this crisis in numerous different ways for years to come. As we work to “flatten the curve” and “stop the spread,” our first thoughts are for the health and well-being of our colleagues, clients, and communities. In addition, it is apparent that the Coronavirus will result in material changes in the legal and regulatory landscape in the U.S. and internationally.
As this post is published, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation authorizing substantial federal spending to respond to the public health crisis and its resulting economic impacts; many states are doing the same. It is critical that these taxpayer funds reach their intended beneficiaries and programs, but it is an unfortunate fact that where money flows, fraudsters appear. This occurred in the housing crisis and federal bailouts associated with that crisis, it occurs with disaster aid – and it will occur with COVID-19 spending. Moreover, periods of crisis create a fertile field for fraudsters, as people seek promises of safety – in dubious medical treatments or financial schemes – and government priorities inevitably shift in times of uncertainty.
Numerous agencies including CMS, the FDA, the SBA, the SEC, and the CFTC are implementing new programs, issuing new guidance, and propounding rule changes to respond to the crisis. The Constantine Cannon whistleblower team is closely tracking these changes. Many of them involve areas that have previously given rise to fraud disclosed by whistleblowers, including small business programs, telehealth, laboratory testing, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Whistleblowers play a critical role in protecting public safety, and they have already worked to do so in this current crisis. In China, Wuhan ophthalmologist Li Wenliang bravely spoke out to warn the world about the emerging virus, and his efforts to sound the alarm have been recognized around the world – although that recognition tragically came after he was censured by local authorities and subsequently died of the disease himself. Around the world, medical professionals and others on the front lines serve us all by speaking out about the potential impact of COVID-19, and bringing attention to critical shortfalls in the public response.
Whistleblowers often put their careers and livelihoods on the line to expose failings and wrongdoing, and we are honored to represent them in seeking accountability and justice. The False Claims Act was passed during the Civil War, and under all conditions, the FCA and other whistleblower reward programs have proven themselves to be powerful tools in the fight against fraud. They will continue to serve that role now, as whistleblowers speak up.
Please, remember to wash your hands.
Constantine Cannon Statement: Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis
March 17, 2020 — Like organizations around the globe, Constantine Cannon is taking steps to remain fully operational while responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our top priority is protecting the health and well-being of the individuals at the firm, their families, our clients, and our communities.
As we all face these difficult times, we continue to serve the needs of our clients, collaborate with our colleagues, work with government agencies, and monitor litigation deadlines. We have long employed robust technology that permits us to work uninterrupted, and, in compliance with recommendations and orders from public health officials, we have implemented contingency plans to work remotely.
We recognize that the upcoming weeks, possibly months, will test our adaptability and resilience, but we are, as always, dedicated to our clients and their interests. Together, we will work to ensure the best path forward.
We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates as needed. If you need to reach our offices, our main numbers remain operational:
In addition, you can contact the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Team here.