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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...

Constantine Cannon Client’s Historic False Claims Act Settlement Against Cisco for Cybersecurity Fraud Makes Headlines

Posted  08/9/19
Numbers One and Zero for Coding with Word Hacked
If you’ve ever seen a heist movie, you likely know the scene. The technology-savvy member of a motley crew of criminals is huddled in a van or in a secret lair, surrounded by monitors. After a tense few minutes of maniacal typing, he or she yells “I’m in!” and hacks into the video surveillance system of the target hotel/casino/museum. In an instant, the cameras switch off or go to a pre-taped reel, and the...

Cisco Whistleblower Represented by Constantine Cannon Wins First-Ever False Claims Act Settlement for Cybersecurity Fraud

Posted  07/31/19
Cisco company sign
In the first cybersecurity whistleblower case ever successfully litigated under the False Claims Act, Cisco Systems, Inc. has agreed to an $8.6 million settlement to resolve allegations it knowingly sold vulnerable video surveillance software to federal, state and local government agencies, exposing government systems to the risk of unauthorized access and the manipulation of vital information. This qui tam...

How Businesses Can Use Whistleblower Reward Laws to Stop Unfair Competition

Posted  07/22/19
Runner in track race starting before other racers
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...

How to Be a Whistleblower

Posted  07/19/19
How to be a whistleblower
You know about fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption by an individual or a company. Someone is getting by with cheating -- taking money from the government, taxpayers, or investors, or even harming others, such as patients. You are deeply troubled about it and want the proper authorities to stop it. You are worried whether you will be heard, taken seriously, and protected. You wonder if your information fits within a...

Catch of the Week — Overstock.com Ordered to Pay $7.27M in Whistleblower’s Unused Gift Card Case

Posted  07/12/19
overstsock.com website logo
In a final order made public this week, a Delaware judge ordered internet retailer Overstock.com to pay $7.27 million in treble damages and civil penalties for failing to report and transfer to the state nearly $3 million in unredeemed gift card balances.
Update, July, 2020: Interpreting the Delaware False Claims Act, on June 26, 2020, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an order reversing the judgment of the trial...

New York Introduces Bills to Expand Whistleblower Protections

Posted  06/21/19
statute of liberty New York symbol
Under current law, whistleblowers who reported fraudulent activity in the government or other settings in the State of New York are typically barred from bringing other legal actions. Maybe not anymore. Last week, both the New York State Senate and Assembly signed off on a series of amendments aimed at providing greater protection for employees who notice and report illegal activity, and expanding the definition of a...

IBM Inks $14.8 Million False Claims Act Settlement

Posted  06/18/19
Coding Background with Error Written
On Friday, the Department of Justice announced that IBM and its subsidiary Cúram Software had agreed to pay $14.8 million to resolve allegations that they lied to the State of Maryland while bidding on a contract to develop the state’s Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) website and IT platform. DOJ sued IBM under the False Claims Act, which imposes liability on companies and individuals that defraud government...

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...

Legal Sports Betting Is Leading to Serious Fraud Risks

Posted  05/31/19
man holding cell phone to place sports bet
With the NBA finals upon us, you may be thinking putting down some cash on one team or the other. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision last year, your state may even allow such bets. And no wonder. Illegal sports betting is a gigantic industry—estimated at $150 billion a year, it eclipses the $5 billion legally gambled in Nevada. Much of that money goes into the hands of mafia interests, who increasingly use online...

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