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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.

The SEC Whistleblower Office is Open for Business

Posted  08/28/12
By Gordon Schnell and Marlene Koury With the payment of its first whistleblower reward last week, the SEC has declared loud and clear that its recently created Whistleblower Office is officially open for business.  Click here for SEC press release.   While relatively modest in amount -- only $50,000 for now -- what is particularly notable about the award is that it represented 30 percent of the total amount the...

The Government's New Public-Private Partnership in Tackling Healthcare Fraud – Seeking Prevention Over Punishment

Posted  08/16/12
By Marlene Koury The government has done a good job of late in recovering billions of dollars of fines from a host of companies big and small for committing various acts of healthcare fraud.  The recoveries so far for this year alone have been record-setting, on their way to crossing the $10 billion mark.  And this number is sure to grow even higher as the Obama Administration continues to ramp up its efforts to...

Taking Internal Whistleblowers More Seriously -- The DOJ's New Whistleblower Ombudsperson Position

Posted  08/14/12
By Gordon Schnell In a hopeful sign that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be taking internal whistleblowers more seriously, the agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced last week the creation of a Whistleblower Ombudsperson position.  The new ombudsperson will be responsible for educating DOJ staff on the role and importance of internal whistleblowers in uncovering agency abuse and mismanagement...

SEC Continues its Crusade Against Foreign Bribery

Posted  08/10/12
By Gordon Schnell The reinvigorated efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to fight foreign bribery continue to pay off.  This week, the SEC announced that the drug giant, Pfizer, has agreed to pay $60 million to settle criminal and civil charges that its subsidiaries bribed foreign officials in Europe and Asia in order to win business there.  Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), it...

Expanding Protections for Antitrust Whistleblowers -- A Good Start But Not Nearly Enough

Posted  08/6/12
By Gordon Schnell (Published in The Hill) The proposed antitrust whistleblower legislation introduced last week by Senators Leahy (D-Vermont) and Grassley (R-Iowa) is certainly a step in the right direction.  See Expanding Protections for Antitrust Whistleblowers -- Help Is on the Way.  It would for the first time provide protections for employees reporting to the government or within their company antitrust...

Expanding Protections for Antitrust Whistleblowers -- Help is On the Way

Posted  08/3/12
By Gordon Schnell  Two U.S. senators this week proposed legislation that would for the first time extend whistleblower protections to those reporting on violations of the antitrust laws.  The bill, introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, would amend the Antitrust Criminal Penalties Enforcement and Reform Act (ACPERA).  This...

Partnering With Former Fraudsters and Conflicted Parties to Root Out Health Care Fraud -- Is the Government Letting the Fox Guard the Hen House?

Posted  08/1/12
By Marlene Koury The government announced last week that it would be partnering with Amerigroup in its new public-private partnership to prevent health care fraud.  If “Amerigroup” and “fraud” in the same sentence sound all too familiar, it is not because of the company's track record in fighting fraud.  Rather, it is likely because Amerigroup paid $225 million in 2008 to resolve claims that it defrauded...

Here We Go Again -- Johnson & Johnson to Pay Upwards of $2.2 Billion to Settle Civil and Criminal Charges

Posted  07/31/12
By Jason Enzler Only a few weeks after GlaxoSmithKline's blockbuster $3 billion settlement over its healthcare fraud misdeeds relating to Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia, Johnson & Johnson is joining the party with a multi-billion dollar settlement of its own.   Though it has yet to be finalized, the Wall Street Journal reported that Johnson & Johnson and the DOJ have reached an agreement requiring the company to...

Wells Fargo Settles for Discriminatory Lending Practices

Posted  07/27/12
By Marlene Koury Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $175 million to settle government charges that it discriminated against qualified African-American and Latino borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the settlement on July 12, 2012, making it the second largest fair lending settlement in the DOJ’s history after its December 2011 settlement with Bank of...

FDAGate -- The Latest Lapse in Government Enforcement

Posted  07/20/12
By Gordon Schnell In what quickly has become the most recent "gate" scandal in Washington, the evidence continues to mount that the FDA acted to stifle whistleblowers within its own ranks.  It all began several years ago when a half-dozen FDA scientists and doctors objected to certain imaging devices for mammograms and colonoscopies because of the high levels of radiation they believed the equipment emitted.  The...

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