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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.

Deducting the Cost of Fraud -- The Widespread Treatment of Government Settlements as a Mere Business Expense

Posted  10/17/12
By Gordon Schnell With its $9 billion take, it has been a record year for the government in terms of its recoveries under the False Claims Act.  See Banner Year for Whistleblowers . . . .  There was the $3 billion settlement with GlaxoSmithKline over its marketing misdeeds with Paxil and Wellbutrin and its failure to report safety data for Avandia.  See Big Pharma Strikes Again . . .   There was the $1.5...

Banner Year for Whistleblowers and the Public, No End in Sight

Posted  10/12/12
By Jason Enzler Fiscal Year 2012 just wound up and the results are in for the government’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases:  $9 billion in fines and penalties.  This is over twice that of last year’s tally of $4 billion.  And all but one of the top 25 recoveries involved cases where individuals blew the whistle.  This past year also included some other notable firsts:
  • The largest recovery in...

The Long and Winding Road to Whistleblower Protections for Government Employees

Posted  10/5/12
By Marlene Koury On September 28, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (“WPEA”), various versions of which have been making the rounds in Congress for the past decade.  The WPEA includes 10 reforms to the existing Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”), passed in 1989, which was supposed to protect from retaliation federal employees who report...

The Fraud Behind the Fraud of Off-Label Drug Marketing

Posted  10/5/12
By Gordon Schnell It has been one of the most common means for drug companies to get around what can be the very rigorous and time-consuming process of securing FDA approval for selling drugs.  That is, taking drugs that the FDA has approved as safe and effective for one particular use and marketing them to the medical community and the public for an entirely different set of uses.  This so-called off-label...

So You Think You Want to Be a Whistleblower -- A Few Words for the Wise

Posted  09/27/12

By Gordon Schnell, Marlene Koury and Jason Enzler

This is a gilded age for whistleblowers.  Relatively speaking that is.  It was not all that long ago that whistleblowers were treated as mere opportunists ratting out their friends or colleagues.  Squealing not for the greater good, but for a quick buck, or to cover up their own failings or misdeeds.  Many still see it that way.  Afterall, we are trained at an...

What is Going On With Big Pharma?

Posted  09/13/12
By Gordon Schnell With GlaxoSmithKline’s recent blockbuster $3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice -- the largest health care fraud penalty on record -- you have to wonder what is going on in the world of Big Pharma these days.  This is an industry that constantly complains of being misunderstood, underappreciated and unfairly maligned.  And there is some legitimacy to their lament.  Afterall,...

Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal Woes Roll On

Posted  09/13/12
By Jason Enzler The hits keep coming for Johnson & Johnson.  On August 30, several state attorneys general announced that they have agreed to a $181 million settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a J & J subsidiary, regarding charges that the company was illegally promoting its antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega.  Click here for a press release from New York.  The settlement, involving 36 states and the...

The IRS Whistleblower Office Gets Serious With Record Setting Award

Posted  09/12/12
By Gordon Schnell In a shot heard round the whistleblower world, the IRS has paid $104 million to former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld for blowing the whistle on the Swiss banking giant's scheme to help thousand of Americans cheat the IRS through secreting their assets in offshore accounts.  This is the scandal that led to the bank's payment of a $780 million fine and to the voluntary disclosure by more than...

To Report or Not Report; Conflicting Guidance From the Courts -- What is a Whistleblower to Do?

Posted  09/10/12
By Gordon Schnell and Marlene Koury (published in the American Banker) Under the recently implemented whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers who report violations of the securities laws are supposed to be protected from being fired.  These protections -- which can include reinstatement, double back pay and special damages -- are designed to serve as an incentive for whistleblowers to come...

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...

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