Whistleblower Insider

Whistleblower Insider is written by the Constantine Cannon law firm team of experienced qui tam and whistleblower lawyers. It is updated daily to provide the latest whistleblower and fraud news and developments.
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November 22, 2017

Miami-Area Man Pleads Guilty for Role in $63M Health Care Fraud Scheme

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

A Boca Raton man pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and receive kickbacks and/or bribes in a $63 million health care fraud scheme. As part of the plea, announced yesterday by the Justice Department, Samuel Konell admitted that for approximately six years, he coordinated with criminal defendants in the state court system to funnel the defendants into mental health treatment in lieu of incarceration, despite knowing the patients were not mentally ill or otherwise did not qualify for the services.

In exchange for the referrals, Konell received a flat monthly rate based on the number of patients he referred, and also received additional payments such as holiday bonuses. click here for more »

November 22, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — November 22, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Owner of Miami Home Health Agencies Sentenced in $74M Medicare Fraud Conspiracy—As part of the plea, the owner and operator of two defunct home health agencies admitted to fraudulently billing the Medicare program for home health care services, including diabetic injections, skilled nursing visits, physical therapy, and other treatments and services. The owner was sentenced to more than six years in prison. DOJ

Whistleblower Suit Alleges Florida Hospital Kickback Scheme—The suit, filed in March but unsealed Friday, alleges Naples Community Hospital Inc. defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of millions through a kickback scheme with physicians who referred patients. Click here to read the complaint.

Federal Judge Rejects Plea Deal with Novelion’s Aegerion—The order, issued Monday, rejected the deal as “not in the public interest.” The deal was part of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc’s recent agreement to pay $40.1 million to resolve the government’s investigation into its marketing of a cholesterol drug, saying it was “not in the public interest.” Reuters

November 21, 2017

DOJ Sues to Block AT&T/Time Warner Merger

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T/DirecTV’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. The combination would be one of the largest mergers in history and would bring together AT&T/DirecTV’s vast video distribution network and Time Warner’s massive array of popular television programming which includes TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, HBO and Cinemax. According to the government, the proposed $108 billion acquisition “would substantially lessen competition, resulting in higher prices and less innovation for millions of Americans.”
See DOJ Press Release.

Dallas-based AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world with annual revenues exceeding $160 billion. It is also the country’s largest Multichannel Video Programming Distributor, with more than 25 million subscribers. New York-based Time Warner has annual revenues of roughly $30 billion with its most popular television networks reaching more than 90 million of the roughly 100 million households that subscribe to traditional subscription television. click here for more »

November 21, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — November 21, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

“Nut Rage” whistleblower says Korean Air retaliated against him — “The whistleblower who exposed the actions of the Korean Air chairman’s daughter who forced a plane to return to its gate in a tiff over macadamia nuts is suing her and the airline, accusing them of illegally demoting and ostracizing him.” NYT

The Asian Football Confederation launches mobile app to draw out whistleblowers — The whistleblower app “will enable fans, players and officials to report suspicious activities or supply information on match-fixing and other forms of corruption in football.” Inside World Football

Whistleblowers in sport need more support — “Independent voices have been instrumental for disclosing problems of doping, corruption or other types of crime. But who should guarantee the necessary support and protection when whistleblowers are endangered?” Play the Game

November 17, 2017

New York Announces Indictment of Unlicensed Plastic Surgeon Charged with Illegally Performing Over 60 Plastic Surgeries

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announced the arrests of unlicensed plastic surgeon Brad Jacobs and physician Nicholas Sewell on charges they engaged in a four-year scheme to illegally perform plastic surgeries on over 60 patients, including causing permanent disfigurement to one patient.

Jacobs was licensed to practice medicine in 1988 and practiced until June 18, 2007, when the New York State Department of Health invoked its emergency powers to suspend his license and shut down his practice. Jacobs was then formally charged with 29 specifications of Professional Medical Misconduct, including gross negligence, incompetence, and moral unfitness related to his performance of surgeries including breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction, and rhinoplasty. click here for more »

November 17, 2017

Fraudster of the Week — Payday Loan Scammer Richard Moseley Sr.

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

On Wednesday, a New York jury convicted 73-year-old Richard Moseley Sr. of a $220 million fraud perpetrated against hundreds of thousands of financially vulnerable payday loan borrowers. Moseley stood trial for nearly three weeks on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Truth in Lending Act. click here for more »

November 17, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — November 17, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Federal agency pulls recommendations for whistleblower protection for offshore workers — A federal agency that investigated the Deepwater Horizon disaster has withdrawn its recommendation to extend whistleblower protections to offshore workers, saying it agrees with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s reasons for refusing to enact the protections. KATC

Many ICOs are fraudulent, say men behind two top bitcoin rivals — Issuing digital tokens is a popular way for many start-ups to raise money, but two prominent names in the cryptocurrency space warned about the rise in fraudulent projects that offer little value to investors. CNBNC

Anti-Fraud Collaboration encourages reporting on financial misconduct — The Anti-Fraud Collaboration, a joint effort of the Center for Audit Quality, Financial Executives International, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the National Association of Corporate Directors, has released a new report urging accountants, auditors and other business people to blow the whistle on any financial reporting shenanigans they see. Accounting Today

November 16, 2017

Taxpayers Against Fraud President’s Award Given to Former Client David Barbetta

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Constantine Cannon Partner, Eric Havian (right), presents the Taxpayers Against Fraud President’s Award to former client David Barbetta (left). Mr. Havian led the successful representation of Mr. Barbetta, now a whistleblower advocate, against DaVita Healthcare Partners. In 2014, DaVita paid $400 million to settle the case, the largest stand-alone kickback settlement ever.

November 16, 2017

Senator Grassley Proposes Important Whistleblower Amendments to GOP Tax Bill

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Charles Grassley, the seven-term Iowa Senator and long-time whistleblower advocate, has introduced two amendments to the Senate’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill” that would assist whistleblowers. One would prevent the double-taxation of certain whistleblower awards, while another would permit whistleblowers who report criminal tax frauds to collect awards from criminal fines imposed on the offending party.

The first amendment, titled “To unify the tax treatment of whistleblower awards,” addresses a quirk in existing law that requires certain whistleblowers to pay taxes on the gross amount of a whistleblower reward, rather than the amount netted after subtracting the whistleblower’s attorney’s contingent fee. Under current law, both False Claims Act and IRS whistleblowers pay taxes only on this net recovery. In contrast, whistleblowers who obtain an award from the SEC or the CFTC under Dodd-Frank pay taxes on the gross award. Senator Grassley’s amendment would bring tax treatment under the two Dodd-Frank programs in line with the others. click here for more »

November 16, 2017

Whistleblower News From The Inside — November 16, 2017

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

DoD Bill Continues Focus on Whistleblower Protections—“The annual DoD authorization bill (HR-2810) that is up for final voting in Congress would continue an emphasis on protections for federal employee whistleblowers that has been a theme of Congress this year.” FEDweek

Lawmakers push for tougher sexual harassment standards on Capitol Hill—“A group of lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would overhaul the complaint process and better protect accusers in Congress. Under the proposed bill, members of Congress and their staff would be required to undergo sexual harassment training. Victims would also have ‘whistleblower’ protections.” USA Today

Fidelity wins whistleblower retaliation case by ex-employee—“A U.S. jury on Tuesday sided with Fidelity Investments in rejecting a claim the mutual funds company retaliated against a former employee after she complained that it potentially defrauded investors by incorrectly calculating expenses. The jury found that Lawson failed to prove that she had either a subjective or objective belief that Fidelity had been engaged in conduct that violated federal securities laws.” Reuters