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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.

Ratting Out the Snitch - The Troubling Underbelly of the NFL Bounty Scandalffea

Posted  11/7/12
By Gordon Schnell (published in Sports Business Journal) It is all about player safety and protecting the integrity of the game.  That was the central message coming out of the NFL's recent pronouncement of punishment against the four Saints players implicated in the now infamous bounty scandal -- Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma.  Safety, integrity, fair play -- it was like a mantra...

A Tale of Two Whistleblower Offices -- The Very Different Approaches of the SEC and IRS

Posted  10/26/12
By Gordon Schnell By now, we all have heard about the $104 million awarded to former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld for blowing the whistle on the Swiss banking giant's scheme to help thousands of Americans use offshore accounts to cheat the IRS.  See The IRS Whistleblower Office Gets Serious With Record Setting Award.  It was the largest whistleblower award on record and particularly notable as it came from an...

Fixing a Broken System -- The Institute of Medicine's Groundbreaking Report on Runaway Waste in American Healthcare

Posted  10/25/12
By Gordon Schnell There is a lot of chatter these days about trillion dollar deficits and multi-point plans to get the economy back in shape.  President Obama and Governor Romney stick to their respective talking points about their opponent's critical failings and how they will do things better.  The divisions that separate these candidates and their followers, and the country as a whole, have not been this...

CVS Sub Caught Duping Consumers in Prescription Drug Purchases

Posted  10/22/12
By Marlene Koury In one of the first False Claims Act settlements involving Medicare's "Part D" prescription drug program, CVS Caremark subsidiary, RxAmerica, agreed to pony up $5.25 million to resolve charges that it submitted false pricing information to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  This is the government body that oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  It also makes available the...

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,...

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