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.
ITT Cannon Pays $11M to Settle Whistleblower Claims of Government Contracting Fraud
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced that defense contractor ITT Cannon will pay $11 million to settle allegations it violated the False Claims Act by supplying electrical connectors to the military that had not been properly tested. The company sold the untested connectors to the government directly and through distributors and other government contractors. See DOJ Press Release.
According to the...
Catch of the Week — Overstock.com Ordered to Pay $7.27M in Whistleblower’s Unused Gift Card Case
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.
In September 2018, a jury found that Overstock had violated Delaware’s unclaimed property law, which requires gift card issuers to remit unused card balances to...
Question of the Week — Is DOJ’s Blockbuster $1.4 Billion Opioid Settlement Just the Tip of the Iceberg?
On July 11, DOJ announced a record-breaking $1.4 billion settlement with Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB Group) over allegations that its former subsidiary Indivior Inc. inflated prescriptions of its opioid-withdrawal drug Suboxone through numerous unestablished representations about the drug’s safety and addictiveness. The settlement resolves RB Group’s potential civil and criminal liability, but Indivior still...
Question of the Week — Three Years in Prison for Insider Trading – Too Harsh or Not Harsh Enough?
A London judge sentenced former UBS compliance officer Fabiana Abdel-Malek and day trader Walid Choucair to three years in prison for insider trading. At trial, the jury saw evidence suggesting that Abdel-Malek and Choucair were in constant communication as the compliance officer learned of potential takeover deals and other confidential company information through UBS’s internal databases. Abdel-Malek and Choucair...
Catch of the Week — Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc.
Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc (“Merrill”), a commodity trading subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, agreed on June 25th to two $25 million settlements with both the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to resolve allegations it conducted deceptive trading practices in United States commodities markets.
New York Introduces Bills to Expand Whistleblower Protections
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...
Calling all FCPA Whistleblowers — The CFTC Wants You!
If you have information on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations in the commodities or derivatives markets, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) wants to hear from you. The agency made this clear in a recently-issued CFTC "Whistleblower Alert" calling on all FCPA whistleblowers to step forward and report what they know.
The agency even dangled the potential for monetary rewards for those...
IBM Inks $14.8 Million False Claims Act Settlement
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...
Question of the Week — Should providers who defraud Medicare be excluded from it?
Sometimes, though rarely, when a medical provider settles a False Claims Act case or is found to have violated the FCA at trial, they are excluded from participating in healthcare programs as a condition of resolving the case. Often, this is a limited-time ban that is meant to incentivize providers to follow Medicare’s rules in the future and to deter other providers from committing fraud.
Question of the Week — Is it time for a legislative fix to limit sky high air ambulance costs?
As rural hospitals continue to shutter, accessible emergency medical care is out of reach for an increasing number of Americans. When health emergencies arise, patients in rural communities often must rely on helicopter ambulances to get them quickly to care. But the Government Accountability Office reported the median cost for a helicopter ambulance ride was over $36,000 in 2017.
The problem will likely continue...