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Barker Decision Extends Attorney-Client Privilege Waiver to False Claims Act Cases

Posted  09/4/14
The attorney-client privilege is perhaps the most critical component of the attorney-client relationship.  As the Supreme Court declared in its landmark Upjohn decision, the privilege exists "to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients and thereby promote broader public interests in the observation of law and administration of justice."  As most would agree, without the privilege...

First Circuit Rules on Tax Deductibility of False Claims Act Settlements

Posted  08/28/14
By Jason Enzler The First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision recently on a matter of first impression for the circuit: whether courts may consider factors outside of settlement agreements in False Claims Act cases in order to determine whether portions of a settlement can be deducted from a defendant’s tax liability. In ruling that courts can indeed look beyond the agreements, the First Circuit in...

DOJ Catch of the Week -- Bank of America

Posted  08/22/14
This week's Department of Justice "catch of the week" goes to Bank of America.  Yesterday, the North Carolina based banking giant agreed to pay $16.65 billion to resolve federal and state mortgage fraud claims against the bank and its former and current subsidiaries, including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch.  It is the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history.   See 

Tagged in: Catch of the Week, FCA Federal, FIRREA, Housing and Mortgage Fraud,

DOJ Catch of the Week – Vascular Solutions

Posted  08/1/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team This week's Department of Justice "catch of the week" goes to Vascular Solutions Inc (VSI).  On Monday, the Minneapolis-based medical device maker agreed to pay $520,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by marketing a product for sealing veins without FDA approval.  Specifically, the government charged that VSI marketed and sold its "Vari-Lase...

“Modest” Changes, or All-Out Assault on the False Claims Act?

Posted  07/31/14
By Jason Enzler The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday with the innocuous title “Oversight of the False Claims Act.” At issue was a set of proposed changes to the law offered by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (“ILR”). According to an ILR representative’s testimony, the amendments would be “modest” and focused on correcting “flaws” and improving the “effectiveness”...

DC Circuit In KBR Whistleblower Case Tightens Attorney-Client Shield for Internal Investigations

Posted  07/3/14
By Gordon Schnell In a shot heard round the business world, a DC district court judge in March denied attorney-client privilege protection to documents prepared in connection with an internal company investigation. The judge found the privilege did not apply because the investigation was mandated by government regulation and not simply an exercise in company discretion. The DC Circuit last week -- in In re: Kellogg...

Eighth Circuit Takes Broad View of Whistleblower “Finder's Fee”

Posted  04/17/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, a whistleblower who files an action that ultimately leads to a government recovery is entitled to a generous portion of the proceeds -- anywhere from 15 to 30 percent.  There is no discretion in making an award.  It is mandated by statute.  It is this unadulterated promise of a significant financial bounty that has been a...

Pharmaceutical Case Presents Novel Use of False Claims Act

Posted  05/1/13
(As reported in Thomson Reuters) When you think of a whistleblower, you might think of an employee reporting on the misconduct of some giant corporate employer -- a David versus Goliath scenario.  On Friday, Reuters reminded us that this is not always the case, reporting on a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a very different kind of whistleblower -- a corporate competitor.  In this case, Amphastar...

Lance Armstrong’s Legal Woes Mount as Justice Department Considers Joining Fraud Case

Posted  01/25/13
By Jason Enzler A False Claims Act complaint filed against Lance Armstrong by former teammate Floyd Landis has leaked, despite the fact that it was filed under seal and the Department of Justice has not publically decided whether it will intervene.  Although the DOJ was expected to make that decision last Thursday, there have been widespread reports that the decision would be postponed because DOJ officials are...

More Trouble for Orthofix

Posted  12/20/12
By Marlene Koury Medical device maker Orthofix, Inc. this week obtained court approval for its June 2012 settlement proposal to resolve civil and criminal allegations that it defrauded Medicare through kickback schemes and overbilling for its bone-growth stimulators.  Click here for the original government press release.  The company will pay approximately $43 million for its misdeeds.  This payment follows on...
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