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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.

Everything You Want to Know About the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and More

Posted  11/16/12
By Jason Enzler In a move that should help both businesses and those seeking to combat fraud, the SEC and DOJ jointly released a 120-page guide on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) on Wednesday.  The guide does not represent any changes to the law or new trends in its enforcement, but it does gather in one place an easy-to-read discussion of the law and its prohibitions, answers to hypothetical scenarios,...

Blackstone Medical Caught “Entertaining” Physicians in Exchange for Business

Posted  11/13/12
By Marlene Koury Orthofix International NV has agreed to pay $30 million to settle allegations that its subsidiary, Blackstone Medical Inc., ran a seven year long kickback scheme ranging from sham consulting agreements to providing physicians with adult “entertainment” to induce them into ordering their products.  Click here to see Department of Justice press release and here for the complaint. Blackstone...

Fudging the Studies -- Senate Report Links Medtronic to Latest Case of Ghostwriting Medical Journal Articles

Posted  11/9/12
By Gordon Schnell  In a scathing report it recently released, the Senate Finance Committee charged medical device manufacturer Medtronic, Inc. with engaging in some fairly dastardly deeds to promote its once top-selling bone growth product called InFuse.  The alleged misconduct centers around the company paying off doctors to author medical journal pieces that downplayed or downright ignored serious risks and...

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...

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