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Whistleblower Group

This archive page contains posts by the Whistleblower Practice Group.  For all Whistleblower pages, please see: 

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Catch of the Week: Laboratory and Two Founders Will Pay up to $16M Over Fraudulent Billing for Urine Drug Testing

Posted  10/22/21
Person wearing lab coat in laboratory
Clinical laboratory MD Labs Inc., and co-founders and owners, Denis Grizelj and Matthew Rutledge, settled charges the lab falsely billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal payors for pricey and unnecessary urine drug tests. Over a four-year period, the lab regularly ran two different drug tests at once and then sent results from both tests to the ordering healthcare physician simultaneously, according to the...

Jackpot! Largest-Ever Whistleblower Award Nets CFTC Tipster Almost $200 Million

Posted  10/22/21
CFTC Letters with Money as the Letters
On October 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it paid nearly $200 million to a whistleblower, a colossal award that is certainly the largest the CFTC has ever made, but also the largest award made under any federal whistleblower-reward program to a single whistleblower, including the False Claims Act. The CFTC said the whistleblower's tip provided important, "direct evidence of...

October 15, 2021

iFinex Inc. and related entities doing business as cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex, agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve charges that they operated as an unregistered futures commission merchant (FCM) and engaged in illegal, off-exchange retail commodity transactions in digital assets with U.S. persons that were not eligible contract participants (ECPs).  The CFTC found that Bitfinex allowed margin trading financed through a peer-to-peer funding program through which Bitfinex customers who held fiat or cryptocurrency in their Bitfinex account would “lend” those funds to other Bitfinex customers who would then use those funds to buy, sell, and trade on the Bitfinex platform, in violation of a 2016 CFTC orderCFTC

October 15, 2021

Tether Holdings Limited and related entities, issuers of the “Tether Token” or USDt, have agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $41 million to resolve allegations that they violated the CEA and CFTC regulations by making untrue or misleading statements and/or omitting material facts through statements that Tether maintained sufficient U.S. dollar and other fiat currency reserves in bank accounts to back every USDt in circulation.  In fact, Tether did not hold sufficient currency reserves at all times.  The reserves were inadequate in amount, and were not held in currency in bank accounts, but instead included unsecured receivables and non-fiat assets, which were held by unregulated entities and third-parties including Bitfinex, which commingled reserve funds with operational and customer funds.  The CFTC also found that Tether failed to perform routine professional audits as represented.  CFTC

Catch of the Week: Private Equity Firm and Former Executives of a Mental Health Center Reach $25 Million Medicaid Settlement

Posted  10/15/21
dollar bill with Medicaid text ripped through
In recent years there has been a proliferation of private equity firms taking oversight of healthcare entities. These private equity firms have increased their exposure to False Claims Act liability by playing active roles in the operation of healthcare entities, and multiple settlements have been reached over the last two years (on kickbacks and promotion of unapproved use of drug-device systems on pediatric...

October 14, 2021

Owners and executives of Massachusetts mental health provider South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. have agreed to pay $25 million to resolve claims that they caused the submission of false claims to the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, by billing for services provided by unlicensed, unqualified, and improperly supervised staff members in violation of MassHealth regulations. Defendants  H.I.G. Growth Partners, LLC and H.I.G. Capital, LLC will pay $19.95 million and defendants Peter J. Scanlon and Kevin P. Sheehan, who held executive and board positions at relevant entities, will pay $5.05 million.  The case was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint under the Massachusetts False Claims Act.  SBMHC previously agreed to pay $4 million to resolve related charges.  Mass

Constantine Cannon Client Gwang-Ho Kim Honored as 2021 Whistleblower of the Year by Taxpayers Against Fraud

Posted  10/14/21
Hyundai dealership sign
We are pleased to announce that Constantine Cannon client Gwang-Ho Kim has been selected as the Whistleblower of the Year for 2021 by the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF).  TAFEF is a prominent public interest organization that works to protect whistleblowers and strengthen the effective operation of the laws that empower them to expose misconduct and the theft of taxpayer dollars. A safety engineer...

The New ENABLERS Act May Be a Backdoor Way to Expand the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program

Posted  10/14/21
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
Hundred dollars bills pinned to clothes line
In The Hill this week, I argue that the newly proposed ENABLERS Act is a lot more powerful than even its authors seem to realize.  The proposed law would effectively expand the Bank Secrecy Act to apply the same reporting requirements currently imposed on banks to all sorts of actors who enable (get it?) money laundering: lawyers, investment advisers, accountants, art dealers, public relations firms, and the like. ...

Catch of the Week: 18 Former N.B.A. Players Charged in Healthcare Fraud Scheme

Posted  10/8/21
Former professional basketball players, including Terence Williams, "Big Baby" Glen Davis, Sebastian Telfair, and Tony Allen, have been indicted for submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental services not actually rendered. From 2017 through last year, defendants' scheme caused the N.B.A. Players' Health and Welfare Benefit Plan ("the Plan") to pay out nearly $4 million in false claims....
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