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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.

Catch of the Week — Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc.

Posted  06/28/19
MerrillLynchLogoOfBull
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.

DOJ Criminal Violations

This settlement resolved...

New York Introduces Bills to Expand Whistleblower Protections

Posted  06/21/19
statute of liberty New York symbol
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!

Posted  06/19/19
Businessmen Holding Foreign Currency in an Envelope
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

Posted  06/18/19
Coding Background with Error Written
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?

Posted  06/18/19
Fortune Cookie with Message with Message Saying "Not Eligible for Medicare!"
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. Between Medicare,...

Question of the Week — Is it time for a legislative fix to limit sky high air ambulance costs?

Posted  06/14/19
Emergency Personnel Rushing to Helicopter Ambulance
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...

Catch of the Week — Wound Care Device Manufacturer ACell Inc.

Posted  06/14/19
By Edward Baker
Nurse Wrapping a Wound on Mans Wrist
Our Catch of the Week goes to ACell Inc., a Maryland-based medical device manufacturer that pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by failing to report that it had partially removed its wound-care product, MicroMatrix, from the market because it was contaminated with endotoxins, placing treated patients in danger of serious infection, even death, without informing the FDA that it...

Blowing the Whistle on Data Breaches and Cybersecurity Flaws

Posted  06/14/19
Computer Security Profession Sitting at Her Computer Desk
With increasing dependence on technology, cybersecurity has emerged as a critical issue for customers, investors, and government regulators. Data breaches and other cybersecurity incidents can have devastating effects. In 2018, the Council of Economic Advisers estimated that malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy up to $109 billion dollars in 2016 alone. Typically, the public only learns of such flaws and...

Qui Tam Lawsuits: How to Report Fraud Under the False Claims Act

Posted  06/14/19
Qui Tam Lawyers

What potential whistleblowers need to know about working with a qui tam lawyer to report fraud under the False Claims Act

Using the False Claims Act (FCA), a whistleblower can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States to recover damages from parties who are cheating the government out of taxpayer funds.  Also called qui tam actions, these lawsuits allow eligible whistleblowers, referred to as “relators,” to...

Whistleblowers Needed to Stop Secret Kickbacks, Bribes, Overcharging, and False Costs in E-Rate, Lifeline, Connect America, and Rural Healthcare programs

Posted  06/7/19
By Jessica T. Moore
Large broadband cable bales awaiting installation on rural road.
The FCC disburses billions of dollars every year for its massive Universal Service Fund (USF) and its laudable mission to promote telephone and internet access to all U.S. persons regardless of income and location. This massive pot of government money attracts a commensurate measure of opportunists seeking to defraud these well-meaning programs.

What is the Universal Service Fund?

The Universal Service Fund...
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