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Question of the Week

This archive includes posts from our “Question of the Week” series, in which the Whistleblower Insider blog addresses topics of interest to whistleblowers.  Return to:

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Question of the Week — Should Public Sector Whistleblowers Receive Awards for Exposing Wrongdoing?

Posted  08/31/18
Since the American Civil War, when the False Claims Act (FCA) was passed, private citizens have been permitted to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government to fight fraud. Common examples include lawsuits regarding the overbilling of federally funded healthcare programs and defense contracts attempting to defraud the armed forces. Under the FCA, whistleblowers are awarded 15-30% of whatever the government recovers...

Question of the Week: Should Reality Winner be behind bars for leaking a classified report on Russian election hacking?

Posted  08/24/18
Former National Security Agency translator Reality Winner was sentenced on Thursday to over five years in prison for leaking a classified government report on Russian hacking attacks against local election officials and voter registration data. Winner was recently out of the Air Force when she sent the report to The Intercept, an online news publication that describes itself as offering “fearless, adversarial...

Question of the Week — Is Omarosa Manigault Newman a Whistleblower?

Posted  08/15/18
Silhouette of People Around a Whistle
Former presidential adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman released her new tell-all book "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House" this week. A TIME magazine article discusses Ms. Manigault Newman’s revelations that she secretly recorded conversations with White House personnel including President Trump and his Chief of Staff John Kelly. In a recent interview on NBC’s "Today", Ms. Manigault Newman...

Question of the Week -- Do the VA external advisors mean fraud is more likely to happen?

Posted  08/9/18
This week, Pro Publica released a new investigation into three powerful but little known figures shaping how veterans receive care.  Ike Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment, Marc Sherman, an attorney, and Bruce Moskowitz, a doctor, are long-time members of Mar-a-Lago. None of them are U.S. veterans, and none have government experience. Yet the three of them are apparently directing how care for millions...

Question of the Week -- Is Tesla fighting a “saboteur” or retaliating against a whistleblower?

Posted  08/3/18
Elon Musk is in the news again. This time, the Tesla CEO, who is known to fiercely defend his companies and himself, has engaged in a public dispute with a former employee who told the Washington Post he saw “some really scary things” during his time at Tesla’s “Gigafactory” battery plant in Nevada. Among other things, the employee, Martin Tripp, claims that Tesla installed dangerously punctured batteries...

Question of the Week - Did Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Get the Punishment He Deserves?

Posted  07/25/18
The SEC announced on Tuesday that Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland, two of his companies, a former senior executive, and a former contractor have agreed to settle SEC charges of defrauding more than 100 investors out of $27.4 million. Fyre Festival, promoted as a “life-changing,” luxury music festival in the Bahamas, is now infamous for collapsing into chaos on its inaugural weekend. The SEC alleged that...

Question of the Week -- Should the SEC Cap Whistleblower Awards?

Posted  07/20/18
Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amending the rules governing its whistleblower program. The program encourages individuals with knowledge of violations of securities laws to share that information with the SEC by providing monetary incentives and protection against retaliation by employers. Currently, a whistleblower may receive an award of up to 30% of any government recovery based...

Question of the Week -- Should Alabama lawmakers pass legislation to stop sheriffs from pocketing funds meant to buy inmates’ meals?

Posted  07/13/18
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday ordered an end to a practice that allowed sheriffs to keep for themselves excess funds allocated for prisoners’ meals. However, the Depression-era law used to justify the practice is still on the books. In recent years, sheriffs across Alabama relied on the legal loophole to pocket leftover funds after they had paid for inmates’ meals. For instance, Etowah County Sheriff Todd...

Question of the Week -- Will New CMS Initiatives Help Curb Fraud and Waste in Medicaid?

Posted  06/27/18
On June 26, 2018 CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced new initiatives to reduce fraud in the Medicaid program. The three new initiatives are to (1) emphasize program integrity in audits of state claims for federal match funds and medical loss ratios (MLRs); (2) conduct new audits of state beneficiary eligibility determinations; and (3) optimize state-provided claims and provider data. These initiatives are meant to...

Question of the Week -- Do You Agree With The Ruling That AT&T’s Takeover of Time Warner Can Proceed Without Limitations?

Posted  06/13/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The New York Times reported that AT&T took one step closer to becoming a telecom-media giant after Richard J. Leon, a United States District Court judge, ruled that its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner can proceed without limitations. The takeover was announced in October 2016, and is the latest effort by a big telecom or cable company to acquire media assets. The cable...
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