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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.

COVID Frauds of the Week: Unproven Tests, Nonexistent Equipment, Price Gouging, and $10 Million in SBA Loans

Posted  05/15/20
sample test tubes scattered around
Fraudsters continue to attempt to capitalize on anxiety and uncertainty during the pandemic by marketing unproven products and services for the prevention, treatment, or cure of COVID-19. This week, we highlight the massive FTC efforts to identify and shut down illegal activities via Warning Letters (around 100 issued to date); two new SEC actions; as well other government actions to quash sales of unproven or...

Telehealth Expansion is Here to Stay, We Must Be Wary of Fraud

Posted  05/15/20
doctor-on-phone
Telemedicine, or the provision of medical services through virtual means, has been rapidly expanding for the past several years. In 2010, barely a third of hospitals were offering telehealth services; by 2017, over three-quarters of hospitals were doing so.  Telemedicine has a lot of potential for good. It’s becoming increasingly accessible and affordable thanks to technological advancements. Innovations such...

Private Equity Ownership of Nursing Homes Might Have Made Everything Worse

Posted  05/15/20
By Jessica T. Moore
person pocketing money in a business suit
Most nursing homes already had no room for error before COVID-19.  Years of private equity ownership and competition with other elder-care services dealt a one-two punch to the cash-strapped facilities’ ability to react to the pandemic crisis, says The New York Times in a troubling analysis.  In particular, private equity firms’ relentless quest for profits, miniscule margins, and regular cash-draining...

COVID Leaves Bags of Illicit Cash with Nowhere to Go

Posted  05/15/20
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
pinned money on a clothes line
Few people may have given much thought to the actual mechanics of money laundering beyond rooting (or not) for Skyler and Walt’s carwash business.  Many non-television criminals do, in fact, use otherwise legitimate small businesses to “launder” their money, mixing ill-gotten gains in with legitimate profits.  The shutdown of the international economy has thus had a surprising consequence: illicit funds have...

LET THE WHISTLES BLOW . . . .

Posted  05/14/20
man blowing a whistle
OpEd by Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman Published In New York Daily News Add Dr. Rick Bright to the list of coronavirus whistleblowers silenced or sidelined for trying to push truth over politics as we battle this deadly scourge. He was just ousted from his post as director of the HHS agency working on a COVID-19 vaccine for what he claims was his refusal to support a “game-changing” supposed cure President...

Let’s Talk about Nursing Homes – Who Will Raise the Red Flag Now That Routine Inspections Are Halted?

Posted  05/14/20
By Jessica T. Moore
nurse checking on elder woman
In March 2020, the federal government abruptly paused non-emergency inspections of some 15,300 nursing homes and other long-term healthcare facilities nationwide in order to focus on preparations to respond to the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.  This triage means that an on-site survey will be authorized only in cases of “immediate jeopardy” of serious harm (e.g., abuse) or reported infection-control...

COVID Frauds of the Week: First Charges for Fraud on the PPP

Posted  05/8/20
Handcuffed business-leader walking through jail.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, so too do the reports of brazen fraud against the vulnerable and the government programs designed to help them.  Like last week, here in our new feature we will focus on some noteworthy trends in government enforcement in this unfortunate new area of fraud.

Fraud on Government Spending

Notably, we have seen the first of what will undoubtedly be many government enforcement actions...

US to Recover More Than $49 Million in Assets Related to the 1MBD Embezzlement and Money Laundering Scandal

Posted  05/8/20
money in a laundry machine
The DOJ entered into a $49 million settlement this week in one of the civil forfeiture cases related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund scandal.  The 1MDB fund was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people. According to...

De Vos’s Education Department Quietly Granted For-Profit Mogul's Colleges Non-Profit Status, Reversing Obama Administration’s Decision

Posted  05/4/20
grad cap on hundred dollar bills
In the wake of scandals surrounding the for-profit college model, some institutions—and their executives—have sought to transition to non-profits.  These conversions pose the concrete risk that taxpayers will be left subsidizing institutions trying to skirt federal regulations meant to protect students.  As a result, the Obama Administration scrutinized them carefully, particularly where the rebranded non-profit...

Keeping Our Eyes Open for COVID-19 Fraud

Posted  05/1/20
coronavirus-map
The COVID-19 pandemic is shaping the way we live around the world and dominating headlines.  Inevitably, it will be a major focus for government enforcement agencies.  The whistleblower team at Constantine Cannon is closely tracking reports of fraud in the Coronavirus response. This week, we launched a new webpage as a hub for COVID-19 fraud news.  We encourage you to visit this page, which will be updated...
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