How to Report Visa Fraud for a Whistleblower Reward
Last week, the government announced that India-based management consulting firm Mu Sigma would pay $2.5 million to settle claims that it evaded H-1B visa requirements and brought employees to the U.S. on B1 visitor visas, misrepresenting the nature of their intended employment. In announcing the settlement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated that the Mu Sigma investigation was launched by a whistleblower...
Whistleblower Suit Revived by Third Circuit Despite Settlement in Related State Court Action
In United States ex rel. Jean Charte v. American Tutor, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed dismissal of a whistleblower’s qui tam action under the False Claims Act, giving the whistleblower the right to pursue her claims. The district court had dismissed the action under state law res judicata principals, because the relator had settled a defamation action brought in state court against her by...
How Businesses Can Use Whistleblower Reward Laws to Stop Unfair Competition
Most anyone can be a whistleblower. The role is not limited to the corporate insider or company employee at the meeting, on the conference call or in receipt of the email or text message where the “smoking-gun” evidence of fraud or misconduct is disclosed. Whistleblowers can be any person, or an entity, with non-public information about fraudulent conduct giving rise to a whistleblower claim. Often, businesses...
Whistleblowers Needed to Stop Secret Kickbacks, Bribes, Overcharging, and False Costs in E-Rate, Lifeline, Connect America, and Rural Healthcare programs
The FCC disburses billions of dollars every year for its massive Universal Service Fund (USF) and its laudable mission to promote telephone and internet access to all U.S. persons regardless of income and location. This massive pot of government money attracts a commensurate measure of opportunists seeking to defraud these well-meaning programs.
Default by Nursing Home Chain on HUD-Guaranteed Mortgage Highlights Potential for Fraud in Section 232 Program
Last week, the New York Times reported on the collapse of Rosewood Care Centers, a chain of nursing homes with facilities in Illinois and Missouri. According to the report, the chain had faced years of operational and financial difficulties, including fines by state regulators, personal injury claims by residents, and lawsuits by investors and vendors.
When it went under, Rosewood defaulted on $146 million in...
Duke Pays Big to Settle Whistleblower Charges of Scientific Research Fraud
On Monday, Duke University agreed to pay $112.5 million to settle charges in violating the False Claims Act by submitting falsified research on federal grants from the National Institutes of Health and Environmental Protection Agency. It is one of the largest settlements by a university for research fraud, and one the government hopes will send a strong message to the academic community. See DOJ Press...
Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2018
While 2018 has been a banner year for FCPA, Tax, and SEC & CFTC recoveries, in the bottomless pit of financial frauds that hurt taxpayers, the government, consumers, investors, and the American economy, 2018 brought us additional stunning recoveries for violations related to residential-mortgage backed securities, international economic sanctions, consumer protection, anti-money-laundering, EB-5 investment fraud, and...
Catch of the Week — VA Official Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Fraud, and Obstruction in $2 Million Scheme
A former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official, James King of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty to demanding and receiving bribes from three for-profit schools in exchange for enrolling disabled military veterans in those schools. King facilitated over $2 million in improper payments from the VA using the veterans’ federal benefits. He pleaded guilty to one count of honest services and money/property wire...
Ninth Circuit Refuses to Kill Incentive Compensation Ban Whistleblower Suit
Last week, the Ninth Circuit refused to kill a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that San Francisco’s Academy of Art University violated the federal incentive compensation ban. The ban, which falls under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, prohibits schools that receive federal funds from paying incentives to employees for securing enrollments. The ban operates to protect students from pushy recruiters looking to...