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Catch of the Week

This archive includes posts from our “Catch of the Week” series, in which the Whistleblower Insider blog highlights particular government enforcement actions.  Return to:

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Catch of the Week: DOJ Charges North Korean and Malaysian Nationals for Bank Fraud, Money Laundering and Sanctions Violations

Posted  09/11/20
A list titled "SANCTIONS LIST"
The Department of Justice announced a criminal complaint charging Ri Jong Chol, Ri Yu Gyong, North Korean nationals, and Gan Chee Lim, a Malaysia national, for conspiracy to violate North Korean Sanctions Regulations, bank fraud, and conspiracy to launder funds.  The DOJ said defendants allegedly established and utilized front companies that transmitted U.S. dollar wires through the United States to purchase...

Catch of the Week: Bank of Nova Scotia Fined for Commodities Fraud and False Statements to Investigators

Posted  08/21/20
building of a bank
Self-disclosure offers wrong-doing corporations a path to leniency: Fess up, the government says, and we’ll go easier on you.  But as the Bank of Nova Scotia learned, you had better reveal the full extent of the problem, or you are just making your problem worse. The Bank had made a self-disclosure that secured it's leniency and an $800,000 deal for charges of commodities fraud.  When the CFTC later determined...

Catch of the Week: Interactive Brokers Pays $38 Million for Failures in Money-Laundering and Supervision

Posted  08/14/20
Computer screen with graphs
Brokerage firm Interactive Brokers LLC will pay $38 million in penalties to settle charges from multiple U.S. market regulators regarding its anti-money laundering practices, including alleged failures to file suspicious activity reports (SARs).  The discount broker has paid an $11.5 million penalty to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the deficiencies in its internal controls that...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraud on Stimulus Programs and Consumers

Posted  07/31/20
handcuffs on a gavel with money scattered around
Like the virus itself, fraud that exploits the COVID-19 pandemic just will not go away, so we are back with another installment of our continuing series highlighting related government enforcement actions.  This week, we saw a continued enforcement focus in two areas: fraud on stimulus programs and consumers.

Stimulus Fraud

Three charges this week highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts to expose and bring...

Catch of the Week: Indivior Agrees to Pay $600 Million to Settle Opioid Fraud Case

Posted  07/31/20
pill container spilled over with pills in the form of a dollar sign
The latest in our Catch of the Week series features Indivior Solutions’ (“Indivior”) agreement to pay $600 million to resolve criminal and civil liability associated with the marketing of the opioid-addiction-treatment drug Suboxone. This is in addition to the $1.4 billion resolution with Indivior’s former parent, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (“RB Group”) that was previously announced in 2019. Suboxone is a...

COVID Fraud of the Week: Washington State Man Charged with Attempting to Launder COVID-19 Relief Money

Posted  07/24/20
Flashing lights on top of police car
On July 23rd, the Department of Justice announced that Mukund Mohan, a Washington state tech company executive, was taken into custody for allegedly laundering money he fraudulently received through the COVID-19 related Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). After receiving funds through the program, Mohan allegedly transferred over $230,000 to his personal brokerage account. These charges mark another instance of...

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...

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...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Consumer and Investor Fraud

Posted  06/18/20
tiles spelling out lockdown
Scammers continue to prey on the vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, and thankfully, they continue to get busted for it.  This week, the enforcement highlights centered on consumer and investor fraud, although there are surely numerous other kinds of fraud that have not yet been stopped. The Federal Trade Commission this week announced that it had taken legal action to try to shut down a remarkably (and...
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