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Whistleblower News From The Inside -- November 28, 2016

Posted  November 28, 2016

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Overcharges at Hanford Nuclear Site Result in $125 million Settlement – Bechtel and URS entities were alleged to have charged the Department of Energy for deficient nuclear materials, services, and testing provided to the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, and to have improperly used federal contract funds to lobby for continued funding of the Hanford clean-up.  The case was originally brought by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act.  DOJ

Prison Sentences for False Billings to Arizona Medicaid – Following guilty pleas, two individuals were sentenced to prison and to pay restitution totaling $3.3 million on charges that they falsely billed Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for tens of thousands of medical transports that never occurred.  USAO AZ

CFTC Releases Annual Enforcement Results for FY2016 – Over the year, the CFTC filed 68 enforcement actions, which addressed a sweeping range of misconduct and market harm, and obtained orders totaling approximately $1.29 billion in restitution, disgorgement, and penalties.  Along with new enforcement actions, the CFTC aggressively pursued litigation in over 100 cases, including significant and complex cases charging manipulation, spoofing, and unlawful use of customer funds, and won liability verdicts in both jury and bench trials in U.S. District Courts. The CFTC also issued a whistleblower award of more than $10 million, marking the largest such award since Congress created the CFTC Whistleblower program in 2010, and reflecting the continued growth and impact of the Agency’s Whistleblower Office.   CFTC

Australian Government Agrees to Whistleblower Protection Laws – The new law will expand protections for whistleblowers to award equal protection to those in both public and private institutions, including those working within unions.  Individuals who can make protected disclosures include former employees and those contracted by an organization. Whistleblowers will also have access to a wider range of remedies, including injunctions and apologies, and authorities will be required to investigate all disclosures within 90 days.  Global Legal Post

First Circuit on Escobar Remand: Relators’ Allegations of Regulatory Violations Sufficiently Material to State Claim Under FCA — The First Circuit holds that Universal Health Services’ alleged failure to adequately staff its facilities in compliance with Massachusetts health care regulations is sufficiently material to survive a motion to dismiss.  Nat’l Law Review

Prediction that State Regulators will get more Aggressive Under Trump – While many expect that federal regulatory action will decrease under a Trump administration, state regulators and attorneys general in certain states are poised to rise up and fill any void.  American Banker

Barclays Executive Allegedly Dismissed after Serious Frauds Office Interview – Richard Boath, formerly Barclays’ chairman of financial services, argues that he was fired after investigators at the SFO provided Barclays with a transcript of his interview with them.  The SFO investigation is examining Barclays’ £7.3 billion emergency cash call at the height of the financial crisis, when it turned to investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi to help it stay out of UK government control.  FT

Employee Awarded $20 Million in Retaliation Suit Against Wyndham Vacation Ownership – Patricia Williams was fired after she complained about questionable sales tactics by the timeshare company.  NY Times