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Top Ten Financial and Healthcare Fraud Prison Sentences of 2021

Posted  01/28/22
handcuff and money
Individuals involved in financial and healthcare fraud schemes face not just civil liability, but also criminal penalties – including prison time. In 2021, the Department of Justice obtained substantial prison sentences in a myriad of cases involving healthcare and financial frauds, many of which involved convictions of the type of fraudulent schemes that whistleblowers report. Whistleblowers play an essential role...

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/14/21
man pocketing cash in suit
The U.S. government has many enforcement options for financial and investment fraud, including those that provide for whistleblower rewards such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC Whistleblower Program, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.  These programs, along with a new one under the Anti-Money-Laundering Act of 2020, are open for business and promise to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in...

De Vos’s Education Department Quietly Granted For-Profit Mogul's Colleges Non-Profit Status, Reversing Obama Administration’s Decision

Posted  05/4/20
grad cap on hundred dollar bills
In the wake of scandals surrounding the for-profit college model, some institutions—and their executives—have sought to transition to non-profits.  These conversions pose the concrete risk that taxpayers will be left subsidizing institutions trying to skirt federal regulations meant to protect students.  As a result, the Obama Administration scrutinized them carefully, particularly where the rebranded non-profit...

Whistleblower Suit Revived by Third Circuit Despite Settlement in Related State Court Action

Posted  08/13/19
Judge's bench with empty chair and gavel
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...

Whistleblowers Needed to Stop Secret Kickbacks, Bribes, Overcharging, and False Costs in E-Rate, Lifeline, Connect America, and Rural Healthcare programs

Posted  06/7/19
Large broadband cable bales awaiting installation on rural road.
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.

What is the Universal Service Fund?

The Universal Service Fund...

WATCH THIS SPACE: Proposed $700M Fix for Installed Foreign-Telecom Could Compound Fraud Related to Universal-Service-Fund Projects

Posted  05/31/19
Hand touching lock icon on modern digital screen interface stating “hacking detected” and “security breach”
Congress, the President, and the FCC are moving to restrict and phase out foreign-made telecommunications components seen as national security risks. While the president’s executive order of May 15, 2019 prohibits U.S. companies from buying foreign telecom, we have a huge problem: our systems already have large quantities of this equipment installed – antennas, radios, electronics, routers, services, etc. The...

Catch of the Week — VA Official Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Fraud, and Obstruction in $2 Million Scheme

Posted  10/26/18
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

Posted  08/31/18
Education Fraud
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...

Whistleblower Reports Massive Fraud at Ohio Charter School

Posted  04/26/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team A former employee of Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is blowing the whistle on the online charter school inflating attendance records and learning hours to defraud the state out of millions of dollars. ECOT is now defunct, but at one time was the largest online charter school in Ohio. The whistleblower, who worked in ECOT’s tech department, informed the Ohio Department...

Fraudster of the Week -- Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Ex-CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Posted  05/5/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Last Friday, a federal judge sentenced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to more than four years in prison for her role in steering $23 million in city contracts in exchange for kickbacks.  Byrd-Bennett—who earned a $250,000 annual salary and had multiple pensions from previous jobs—received more than $2 million for her role in the...
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