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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 — Wealthy Parents Arrested in College Admissions Bribery Scam

Posted  03/15/19
grad cap with money
Our Catch of the Week goes to the parents, coaches, exam administrators, admissions “consultants,” and others who were arrested and charged Tuesday for bribery and cheating to secure student admissions to elite colleges and universities. See DOJ Press Release. The FBI’s investigation, Operation Varsity Blues, uncovered a nationwide scam led by William “Rick” Singer and his companies, Edge College & Career...

CFTC Pays Whistleblower Award for Related Action Brought by Another Federal Regulator

Posted  03/14/19
By Carolina Gonzalez
financial trading numbers
On March 4, 2019, the CFTC announced an award of $2 million to an anonymous whistleblower who was not an insider, but provided “critical information through independent analysis of market data” that lead to several million in recoveries by two regulatory agencies. Moreover, as the Order makes clear, the whistleblower’s $2 million award is based not just on the CFTC’s recovery, but also on a recovery in a...

Iowa Legislature Renews Attempt to Silence Agricultural Whistleblowers

Posted  03/14/19
Aerial view of agricultural waste storage facilities and livestock barns in green fields
Two months after a federal judge’s January 2019 decision that Iowa’s 2012 ag-gag law was unconstitutional, Iowa legislators have approved a new bill that—like its predecessor—aims to stifle would-be whistleblowers. The legislation falls under the umbrella of what opponents call ag-gag laws: statutes that criminalize photographing, videotaping, or otherwise blowing the whistle on misconduct occurring on farms...

Question of the Week — Are device manufacturer's services valuable education or unlawful kickbacks?

Posted  03/13/19
Person in scrubs and gloves holding medical device on draped table
Earlier this week, medical-device manufacturer Medtronic's Covidien business unit agreed to pay approximately $20 million to resolve kickback allegations related to the sale of its ClosureFast radiofrequency ablation catheters.  ClosureFAST catheters are used in procedures to treat venous-reflux disease, whose symptoms include varicose veins. The settlement resolves claims that Covidien improperly provided doctors...

Supreme Court rules in favor of position advocated by Constantine Cannon partner Henry Su on behalf of The Center for International Environmental Law and others in Jam v. International Finance Corp

Posted  03/8/19
Metal sign for International Finance Corporation World Bank Group at entrance to building
Can the World Bank and other international organizations be sued for investments gone awry? That was the question, broadly speaking, that the Supreme Court answered in Jam v. International Finance Group, a case brought by Indian fishermen and farmers from the state of Gujarat whose waters and lands were destroyed by a power plant financed by the International Finance Group (IFC). The group of farmers sued the...

Catch of the Week — Mobile TeleSystems settles FCPA claims for $850M

Posted  03/7/19
Pile of coins with miniature flag of Uzbekistan
Russian telecom giant Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (MTS) agreed to pay approximately $850 million to settle allegations the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by bribing an Uzbek official, a relative of Uzbekistan’s president at the time. $100M will be paid to the SEC to resolve the charges and will be credited against a criminal fine and forfeiture of $850M based on related criminal...

CFTC Playing Catch Up Makes Another Whistleblower Award

Posted  03/6/19
Cast metal seal of CFTC on brick wall
On Monday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a whistleblower award totaling more than $2 million. It is the latest in what has been a string of recent CFTC awards after a very slow start for the CFTC Whistleblower Program. Indeed, 2018 was a banner year for the program reflecting what appears to be a renewed commitment by the agency to make up for lost time and embrace the critical role...

Canada Makes First Securities Fraud Whistleblower Award

Posted  03/6/19
Canadian maple leaf flag in cloth with draping
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced last week roughly CAD $7.5 million in whistleblower awards to three individuals who reported violations of Ontario securities laws.  The awards are the first ever by a Canadian securities regulator.  In keeping with its commitment to protecting the confidentiality of whistleblowers, the OSC did not disclose any information that might reveal the whistleblowers'...

Question of the Week — Should Big Pharma Be Publicly Shamed for Its Role in the Opioid Crisis?

Posted  03/4/19
Domenic Esposito, a sculptor from Massachusetts, has placed a 10-foot long sculpture of a burnt heroin spoon-the kind used by heroin addicts to melt heroin before injecting it-in front of the Rhode Island headquarters of Rhodes Pharmaceuticals. Today, Rhodes Pharmaceuticals is among the largest producers of generic opioids in the U.S. It is also a sister company of Purdue Pharma, which, along with other opioid makers,...

$2.1 Million Whistleblower Settlement with Skyline Urology Resolves Allegations of Improper Unbundling Fraud

Posted  03/1/19

This week, the Department of Justice and Constantine Cannon LLP announced a $2.1 million settlement against Skyline Urology, at one time the largest urology practice in California. The settlement, which includes $1.85 million to the United States and $250,000 to the State of California, resolved allegations by our whistleblower client that Skyline had engaged in a systematic coding scheme to defraud Medicare and...

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