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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-19 Frauds of the Week: Fake Employees and Fake Treatments

Posted  07/17/20
handcuffs on a gavel with money scattered around
Taxpayers, rightfully upset about large companies such as Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse claiming large sums of Paycheck Protection Program money from the Small Business Administration, should consider shifting some of their ire to applicants posing as the original intended recipients—small businesses—who are getting in on the grift. And for fraudsters who prefer to market unproven products rather than...

The Border Wall Falls Down

Posted  07/15/20
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
a tall border wall in the middle of the dessert
In 2018, Constantine Cannon’s Mary Inman warned President Trump away from his pet border wall project as a surefire target for fraudsters.  Two years later, here we are. Trump’s announced plan to build a wall along the 1,954 mile border between the U.S. and Mexico was a key campaign promise.  That plan has now devolved into a series of piecemeal incomplete sections, including some that are privately funded....

Oklahoma City Hospital, Management Company, And Physician Group to Pay $72.3 Million To Settle Kickback and Stark Allegations

Posted  07/10/20
Anti-Kickback Stark Law Whistleblower Examples
Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multi-Specialty Surgery (OCOM), a specialty hospital affiliated with Tenet Healthcare in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, its part-owner and management company, USP OKC, Inc. and USP OKC Manager, Inc. (collectively USP), Southwest Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC (SOS), an Oklahoma City-based physician group, and two SOS physicians, will pay $72.3 million to resolve kickback allegations...

Prisoner turned whistleblower speaks out after uncovering massive stimulus fraud

Posted  07/10/20
silhouette of man behind prison bars
After discovering that various Utah government entities had misappropriated millions in federal grant dollars following the 2008 economic bailout, Reginald Williams filed a qui tam lawsuit in early 2015 to report the fraud to the United States. Williams’s claims initiated a federal investigation and lawsuit accusing criminal justice agencies in Utah of grant fraud. When the government intervened and the case became...

This Week in Whistleblower History: House Resolution on July 8, 1861 Led to the Original False Claims Act

Posted  07/10/20
By Edward Baker
Photo of Winder Building in Washington DC
This week marks an important event in whistleblower history.  On July 8, 1861, Congressman Charles H. Van Wyck of New York submitted a resolution to the U.S. House of Representatives to create a special committee of five members appointed by the Speaker of the House to investigate fraud and profiteering in military contracts during the Civil War.  The committee’s investigations ultimately led to the enactment of...

Constantine Cannon Attorneys Provide Comments on Model Whistleblower Award and Protection Act

silver whistle with Securities Exchange Commission logo
Following in the footsteps of the hugely successful SEC Whistleblower Program, which recently announced its largest-ever reward of $50 million, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has proposed a Model Whistleblower Award and Protection Act that would serve as a guide for states across North America who wish to enact a compelling whistleblower program to bolster their securities...

Press Round-Up: Settlement in Visiting Nurse Service of New York Case Described as Groundbreaking

Posted  07/2/20
Newsboy hawking paper
The record-setting $57 million settlement in U.S. ex rel. Lacey v. Visiting Nurse Service of New York, a False Claims Act case brought by Constantine Cannon client Edward Lacey, received extensive coverage in the media, with stories noting that the wrongdoing alleged was “pervasive” in the home health industry. As a whistleblower, Lacey alleged that home health agency VNSNY failed to adhere to the plans of care...

Catch of the Week: Novartis Pays $729 Million to Settle Two Kickback Cases on Heels of $345 Million Foreign Bribery Settlement

Posted  07/2/20
Novartis corporate building
This week and last, pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis reached three settlements involving very different forms of unlawful kickbacks and bribes.  First, this week the company agreed to pay a total of $678 million to resolve a New York case alleging that it paid inflated “speaking fees” and provided other incentives to doctors to induce them to prescribe Novartis drugs.  Second, Novartis will pay $51.25...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraud on the PPP

Posted  06/26/20
hundared dollar bill zoomed in to president's face
This week’s COVID-19 frauds centered on (temporarily) successful attempts to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds for nonexistent companies and fabricated or inflated employee headcounts. First up is the owner of a wedding planning company that sought personal enrichment via more than $3 million in forgivable PPP loans for his 120 nonexistent employees. Fahad Shah, 44, of Murphy, Texas, was arrested...

Investigative Journalists Face Increasing Threats from Corrupt Regimes

Posted  06/26/20
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
silhouette of male with arms crossed against a gray photo backdrop
Journalists around the globe are facing increasingly serious threats to their safety and freedom as they report stories that do not please corrupt governments.  Most recently, Maria Ressa—a globally renowned investigative journalist from the Philippines—was found guilty last week for what is, by all accounts, a trumped-up charge of “cyber libel” based on a law that did not even exist at the time of the...
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