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Consumer Fraud 466 articles

Investment and securities fraud is one area of consumer fraud litigation pursued by the attorneys at Beasley Allen. Litigation includes individual cases as well as class actions that have been filed throughout the country. Cases in this area also involve matters including wrongful conduct of insurance and finance companies including fraud and bad faith, mortgage loan fraud, general consumer fraud and employment issues. Pending cases include securities and investment fraud litigation against companies including Stanford Securities and Regions Morgan Keegan, among others.

Our firm also is representing people who have been taken advantage of in the workplace, through violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In these cases, employers intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors or managers in order to reduce costs such as overtime compensation, employee benefits, payroll taxes, unemployment compensation and workers compensation.

Potential data breach linked to stolen corporate cell phone with private medical patient records

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A potential data breach was reported by St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) of Albany, N.Y., following the theft of a hospital manager’s cellphone late last year. The St. Peter’s Medical Associates P.C., one of the hospital system’s physician groups, reports that the stolen cell phone had access to corporate email systems; however, St. Peter’s officials have not received any reports of misused patient information. The confidential information of approximately 5,117 patients, believed to be ranging from between August and November 2014, varies from patient name and date of birth to past appointment times and reason for the appointment. Medical records not ... Read More

$2.1 million Medicare fraud scheme leads to imprisonment of Michigan physician

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Michigan physician Dr. Paula Williamson was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay roughly $1.3 million in restitution due to her involvement in a $2.1 million Medicare fraud scheme. The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that Williamson conspired with the owner of AMB Healthcare Inc., a home health care agency located in Michigan. In order for AMB to bill Medicare for its home health care services, the company would have to receive a physician’s referral. The DOJ says Williamson regularly falsified medical documentation on behalf of her co-conspirator, as well as certified Medicare beneficiaries as homebound, despite ... Read More

Multimillion dollar tax refund fraud includes former IRS employee among those charged

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A former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee is among those charged with filing false claims in a multimillion dollar tax refund fraud conspiracy. Others charged include an employee of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and a former New York City Corrections officer. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and IRS announced the indictments Jan. 16. The DOJ says Rodney Chestnut, a retired New York City Department of Corrections officer; Clive Henry, a former IRS employee whose job it was to prepare tax returns; and Nafeesah Hines, a former FDA employee, have been indicted on 20 counts of filing ... Read More

Five facts about cybersecurity we should learn after rash of 2014 data breaches

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The massive data breaches of 2014 left many Americans aghast about the importance of cybersecurity and the difference it can make in millions of lives. Whether it is the data breach of a major retailer, leaving consumers’ personal and financial information vulnerable to thieves, or the hacking of an entire movie studio, resulting in the cancellation of an upcoming movie, cybersecurity plays an importanct role in our advancement as a society. However, many misconceptions have been thrown around in recent months as we all struggle to learn just what it all means. This year, in an effort to help followers of the ... Read More

Whistleblower receives $6 million of $39-million Daiichi recovery

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A former sales representative of global drug maker Daiichi Sankyo who blew the whistle on the company’s practice of providing illegal kickbacks to boost sales of its drugs will receive more than $6 million for her role in helping expose the alleged fraud. Kathy Fragoules sued Daiichi Sankyo under the False Claims Act, which authorizes private individuals to take legal action on behalf of the U.S. government when they have original first-hand knowledge and credible evidence of fraud committed against federal agencies and programs. According to the whistleblower lawsuit, from 2004 to 2011 Daiichi paid kickbacks to physicians in the ... Read More

U.S. intervenes in two whistleblower lawsuits against Florida heart clinic chain

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The U.S. government will become actively involved in two whistleblower lawsuits against a Florida cardiologist and his clinic, alleging that they billed Medicare for medically unnecessary heart procedures and lured new patients with inappropriate kickbacks. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Dr. Asad Qamar and his physician group, the Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence (ICE), performed excessive and unnecessary peripheral artery interventional procedures and other treatments on Medicare patients. One of the whistleblower lawsuits alleges that Dr. Qamar routinely encouraged patients to undergo the unneeded procedures by waiving their 20 percent Medicare copayment regardless of financial hardship. The Institute of Cardiovascular ... Read More

Study finds whistleblower involvement leads to higher penalties, longer prison sentences

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Companies pay substantially higher amounts to resolve financial misrepresentation lawsuits when whistleblowers are involved, a new study published by the Social Science Research Network found. The authors of the study analyzed court data from 1978 to 2012, looking at financial misrepresentation enforcement actions pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Controlling the analysis to account for the size of the alleged misrepresentation, the number of executives penalized, and several other factors, the researchers found that companies paid penalties 63 percent higher on average to resolve cases when a whistleblower was involved than in ... Read More

U.S. government, whistleblowers sue Omnicare over illegal nursing home kickbacks

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The U.S. government has joined a pair of whistleblower lawsuits against Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest provider of prescription drugs and pharmacy consulting services to nursing homes, alleging the company received several million dollars in illegal kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories in exchange for pushing its drug Depakote on nursing home patients with dementia. Federal regulations designed to protect nursing home residents from unnecessary drugs require nursing home facilities to retain consulting pharmacists such as those provided by Omnicare to ensure that patients receive appropriate drug prescriptions. Sometimes, however, consulting pharmacists and the companies they work for are corrupted by inappropriate ... Read More

State Farm appeals verdict in whistleblower lawsuit involving Hurricane Katrina damages

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NEW ORLEANS, La. – The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Feb. 5 as Illinois-based State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. appeals a verdict that it pay $3 million in damages and legal fees stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit. A Mississippi jury sided with sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., in 2013, who filed a lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which authorizes private citizens to sue on behalf of the federal government. The sisters accused State Farm of manipulating damage reports after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson pays billions in fines over off-label marketing of antipsychotic Risperdal

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More than half of the $2.3 billion in fines the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania received during the 2014 fiscal year came from consumer health care giant Johnson & Johnson over off-label marketing of drugs. “Recouping federal funds that were misspent due to fraud, including substantial health care and mortgage insurance funds, is a critical part of our mission,” U.S. Attorney David Memeger said in a statement. “Our nation’s taxpayers deserve our most aggressive efforts to recover their hard-earned tax dollars that have been misappropriated. During fiscal year 2014, we continued to honor this mission with ... Read More