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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: 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...

Catch of the Week — Tacoma foundry pays 10.8M settlement over deficient steel parts destined for U.S. Navy submarines, falsified tests

Posted  06/18/20
US-Navy-ships-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean
The latest in our Catch of the Week series features Bradken Inc.’s $10.8 million payment to resolve allegations that its Tacoma foundry violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”) when it produced and sold substandard steel parts for U.S. Navy submarines and falsified test results to hide the failures. Bradken and its former lab director Elaine Thomas also face criminal charges. The company accepted responsibility and...

DOJ Charges Healthcare CEO with Criminal Securities and Healthcare Fraud

Posted  06/12/20
Hands in handcuffs behind back of white man in business suit
In 2008, Rahm Emanuel, then-President Obama’s chief of staff, famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”  However poorly phrased, generations of political and business leaders have understood the kernel of truth in his admonition. So have scammers and rip-off artists. We have been following the...

A COVID-19 Pesticide, Unproven Treatments, and Splashing Out On SBA’s Dime

Posted  06/5/20
statue of liberty spraying disinfectant with a mask over her mouth
The US DOJ continued its efforts to combat the sale of unproven and unregistered COVID-19 treatments and preventatives and charged purported “business owners” for CARES and PPP funds fraud this week. A Georgia woman pleaded guilty to selling an unregistered pesticide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Rong “Vicky” Sun, 34, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be...

COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP, PPE, and More

Posted  05/29/20
discarded mask and glove on ground
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to batter businesses and everyday Americans, it has been one of the busiest weeks yet for the government agencies stopping fraudsters who target government relief programs.  In new cases filed this week, the government has gone after alleged bogus sales and price gouging of PPE, new frauds on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), healthcare fraud, and more.

Secret Service Busts...

COVID Frauds of the Week: More Fraud on the PPP

Posted  05/22/20
accountant
As we enter our third month of nation-wide shelter-in-place efforts, fraudsters continue to exploit government relief programs. For the second week in a row, the Eastern District of Texas DOJ is going after a purported small business owner for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Samuel Yates has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements for allegedly submitting fraudulent loan...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Misrepresented Mask Inventories and Medicare Fraud

Posted  05/1/20
N95 Masks
Amid COVID-19-induced fear and hardship, fraud is on the rise. Already, the FTC has received over 18,000 reports of COVID-19 related fraud. In response, the SEC, CFTC, and other regulators announced they are on the lookout for pandemic-related fraud, and the DOJ warned would-be wrongdoers that it will not tolerate profiting off of public panic. This week, we focus on three enforcement actions brought by the...

Catch of the Week – SEC Hits Actor Steven Seagal for Improper ICO Promotion

Posted  03/6/20
bitcoin currency
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the SEC for securing over $300,000 recovery from actor Steven Seagal in connection with his alleged failure to disclose payments he received for promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G).   The settlement is part of the SEC’s broader effort to combat the role of celebrities in promoting novel—and sometimes fraudulent—cryptocurrency...

Catch of the Week – Wells Fargo Pays $3 Billion, and another $35 Million, in Latest in Long Line of Government Enforcement Actions against the Bank

Posted  02/28/20
wells-fargo-bank
On February 21, 2020 the Department of Justice announced that Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations that Wells Fargo’s “cross-selling” practices led to millions of accounts being opened for customers under false pretenses and without consent. These practices allegedly led to Wells Fargo collecting millions of dollars in fees. Less than one week later, two of...

Catch of the Week: Guardian Elder Care

Posted  02/21/20
person holding elder's hand
This week's DOJ Catch of the Week goes to Guardian Elder Care.  On Wednesday, the operator of more than 50 nursing homes in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia agreed to pay roughly $15.5 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by billing the government -- Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program -- for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services.  According to...
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