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.
DOJ Discusses Its 2020 Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Priorities
In comments at the 2020 FBA Qui Tam conference, the Department of Justice reaffirmed its strong commitment to pursuing fraud under the False Claims Act and emphasized its particular focus on rooting out healthcare fraud.
Jody Hunt, Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of DOJ, was encouragingly forceful in his comments about the critical role of the FCA in protecting the public fisc—and the patient...
“Objective Falsity” Is Not Required Under the False Claims Act: A Legally False Opinion May Suffice
In a significant win for whistleblowers, a federal appellate court heldthis week that, in order to determine liability under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower need not prove that a claim is “objectively” false. Instead, the Court held that, consistent with common law, a claim can be false under the FCA if based not on objectively verifiable facts, but on non-compliance with statutory or regulatory...
Catch of the Week – SEC Hits Actor Steven Seagal for Improper ICO Promotion
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the SEC for securing over $300,000 recovery from actor Steven Seagal in connection with his alleged failure to disclose payments he received for promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G). The settlement is part of the SEC’s broader effort to combat the role of celebrities in promoting novel—and sometimes fraudulent—cryptocurrency...
Read the Essay Submitted by Will Powell Watson in the Constantine Cannon Law School Scholarship Contest
Constantine Cannon is excited to share the essay that placed third in our first annual Scholarship Essay Writing Contest. The contest asked entrants to submit an essay addressing the important role whistleblowers play, and steps that can be taken to support and protect them. Entrants were encouraged to relate a personal whistleblower experience or describe a whistleblower who inspired them. Our third-place...
Catch of the Week – Wells Fargo Pays $3 Billion, and another $35 Million, in Latest in Long Line of Government Enforcement Actions against the Bank
On February 21, 2020 the Department of Justice announced that Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations that Wells Fargo’s “cross-selling” practices led to millions of accounts being opened for customers under false pretenses and without consent. These practices allegedly led to Wells Fargo collecting millions of dollars in fees.
Less than one week later, two of...
Read the Essay Submitted by Katelyn Jackson in the Constantine Cannon Law School Scholarship Contest
Our whistleblower team received dozens of inspired essays from law students across the United States in our first annual Constantine Cannon Law School Scholarship. The contest asked entrants to submit an essay addressing the important role whistleblowers play, and steps that can be taken to support and protect them. Entrants were encouraged to relate a personal whistleblower experience or describe a whistleblower...
First Circuit Revives Whistleblower Suit Against PharMerica, Rejecting Public Disclosure Challenge
Rejecting an argument that only a fraudster could love, the First Circuit Court of Appeals revived a whistleblower’s lawsuit and rightly recognized that whistleblowers can have “direct” knowledge of fraud even if they did not themselves participate in the fraud. In United States ex rel. Banigan & Templin, et al. v. PharMerica, Inc., the First Circuit interpreted the so-called “original source” provision of...
It’s Live: Constantine Cannon’s EU Whistleblower Directive Transposition Guide
After its presentation at the EU Parliament on February 4, 2020, Constantine Cannon’s transposition guide for journalists on the 2019 EU Whistleblower Directive is now available for public view. This guide, published by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), represents a collaborative effort by the Whistleblowing Team in London to clarify the Directive’s provisions for EFJ’s members and analyze its...
A Milestone for Constantine Cannon’s Whistleblower Practice
Whistleblower practices have extremely long gestation periods. When we started Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower practice eight years ago, we knew that strong whistleblower cases often take many years to come to fruition. A burst of successful matters that recently have been acknowledged in the press marks the completion of our whistleblower practice’s startup phase.
Last month, the widely read legal...
Treble Damages Awarded in Medicare Whistleblower Case
The Fifth Circuit upheld a 2018 lower court decision this week, finding defendant BestCare Laboratory Services, LLC and its owner Karim Maghareh liable for treble damages—to the tune of just over $30 million—under the False Claims Act.
BestCare provided clinical testing services for nursing home residents, many of whom were Medicare beneficiaries. Rather than billing for a technician’s travel to and from the...