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Whistleblower Insider Blog

Whistleblower Insider is written by the Constantine Cannon law firm team of experienced qui tam and whistleblower lawyers. It is updated regularly to provide the latest whistleblower and fraud news and developments.

SEC Announces $4 Million Award to Overseas Whistleblower

Posted  09/24/18
We have said it before, and we will say it again:  the SEC Whistleblower Program offers monetary rewards to non-U.S. citizens.  Today's announcement from the SEC of a $4 million award to an unidentified "overseas whistleblower" demonstrates this.  According to the SEC, the anonymous whistleblower's tip caused the SEC to open an investigation.  The $4 million award "recognizes the continued, important assistance provided by the whistleblower throughout the course of...

This Week in Bribes — Guilty Pleas in Two Major FCPA Cases

Posted  09/20/18
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
Major developments occurred last week in two different FCPA cases related to two separate state energy companies. PetroEcuador and PDVSA have both been the subjects of long-running FCPA and money-laundering investigations. In Ecuador, over a dozen PetroEcuador officials have already been charged with accepting bribes in exchange for business with the state oil company. And in Venezuela, the PDVSA scandal has spawned multiple prosecutions against Venezuelan officials and individuals around the...

SEC Reaffirms its Policy of Reduced Awards for Tardy Whistleblowers

Posted  09/20/18
Last Friday, the SEC announced an award of more than $1.5 million to a whistleblower who "provided the SEC with vital information and ongoing assistance that proved important to the overall success of an enforcement action." SEC Press Release. This brings to 58 the total number of awards under the SEC Whistleblower Program, amounting to $322 million in whistleblower recoveries. Of course, following the SEC's strict whistleblower confidentiality provisions, the SEC...

Question of the Week — Should opioid makers get to profit from opioid addiction treatment?

Posted  09/20/18
This month, the owners of Purdue Pharma-the maker of the powerful opioid OxyContin-obtained a patent for a form of buprenorphine, a faster-acting version of the opioid detox drug commonly known as Suboxone. Since OxyContin hit the market in 1996, opioid addiction has become an epidemic. Purdue and other opioid makers are currently being sued by a host of state and local governments for allegedly creating the problem by deceptively marketing...

What Would You Do? Disgrace and Conflicts in Medical Clinical Studies

Posted  09/18/18
By Jessica T. Moore
The fall and resignation of the renowned Chief Medical Officer and physician-in-chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, researcher Dr. Jose Baselga, once again sound the alarm of questionable ethics, conflicts of interest, and integrity in clinical studies. Dr. Baselga is known as one of the world’s top cancer doctors, credited with new, life-saving therapies. Drug companies sponsor interested researchers (like Dr. Baselga) and related institutions (Sloan Kettering) to conduct...

Catch of the Week — United Technologies

Posted  09/14/18
United Technologies
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the SEC for securing a nearly $14-million settlement with United Technologies, a Connecticut-based building systems and aerospace company, for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The settlement resolves allegations that United Technologies, through various subsidiaries, paid bribes across the globe to advance its elevator and aircraft-engine businesses. According to the SEC’s order filed on September 12, United Technologies engaged in...

Question of the Week -- Should the Government Hold Pharmaceutical Companies Accountable for the Opioid Crisis?

Posted  09/13/18
A recently-unsealed complaint by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring alleges Purdue Pharma pushed nearly 150 million opioid pills and patches into Virginia between 2008 and 2017. According to Attorney General Herring, Purdue went to great lengths to misrepresent the addictiveness of their drugs and engaged in zealous promotion and sales tactics. One of these tactics, Purdue’s Incentive Bonus Program, allegedly deterred sales representatives from reporting overprescribing healthcare providers. “Purdue Pharma...

Catch of the Week — SEC Hands Two Whistleblowers $54 Million

Posted  09/7/18
SEC
The SEC announced late this week that it had issued two whistleblower rewards totaling $54 million. Of the total reward, one tipster received $39 million-the second-largest reward the SEC has ever granted-while a second received $15 million, the eighth-largest award yet granted. The SEC commended both whistleblowers for providing “critical information and continued assistance” that “helped the agency bring an important enforcement action.” Just what that enforcement action was, as...

Third Circuit Clarifies the Public Disclosure Bar in United States ex rel. Silver v. PharMerica

Posted  09/7/18
Whistleblower Marc Silver secured a victory from the Third Circuit on September 4, 2018, which held that his action was not blocked by the “public disclosure bar” of the False Claims Act, reversing a lower court that had dismissed his action. The Third Circuit’s opinion appropriately recognizes that a whistleblower can use non-public information as a bridge between public information and allegations of fraud, without triggering the public disclosure bar. Although...

Catch of the Week — Ambulance Company and Clients Busted for Illegal Kickbacks and Cozy Financial Relationships

Posted  08/31/18
Ambulance
Here’s a question you shouldn’t have to ask when you’re in an ambulance: Did a bribe put me here? Our Catch of the Week goes to a $21 million settlement of a case against several ambulance-industry companies for allegedly paying kickbacks to secure lucrative exclusive contracts. Paramedics Plus, the East Texas Medical Center, the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), and EMSA’s president and CEO Herbert Stephen Williamson were accused in...
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