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Consumer Fraud 1386 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.

SEC Awards 3 Whistleblowers $55.5 Million in Two Separate Cases

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Whistleblower Office recently announced it has paid out more than $55.5 million to three whistleblowers who assisted regulators in stopping violations, fraud, and other misconduct harming investors. On Sept. 6, the SEC said that it had awarded two whistleblowers who assisted regulators in the same case. One whistleblower will receive a $39 million award – the agency’s second-largest payout to date – and the other will receive a $15 million award for providing “critical information and continued assistance” that helped the SEC crack down on the offending company. On Sept. 14, the SEC ... Read More

FTC Shuts Down Military Copycat Websites

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it has resolved civil charges against two Alabama-based companies that ran copycat military websites to trick potential recruits into submitting their personal information, which they then sold to post-secondary schools for profit. According to the FTC, Sunkey Publishing Inc. and Fanmail.com LLC have agreed to surrender Army.com, Armyenlist.com, Navyenlist.com, and other domain names. The agency said the companies used the websites to generate admissions leads, which they sold to post-secondary schools for $15-$40 per lead. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the companies created the copycat websites to appear to be official recruiting websites affiliated ... Read More

Price Gouging Laws In Effect As Hurricane Florence Barrels Into the Carolinas

Hurricanes bring widespread destruction with them but they also bring out the best of human nature when residents and communities pull together to help each another recover. Unfortunately, hurricanes can also reveal the shady side of some individuals and businesses when they take advantage of a hurricane or other crisis to inflate prices excessively. Price-gouging takes many forms, from a $10 gallon of gas to thousands of dollars for a tree removal. As Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, government officials urged residents to report any instances of price gouging they encounter. “My office is here to protect North ... Read More

Florida Opioid Pill Mill Doctor, Staff Go to Prison

A South Florida doctor busted for illegally dispensing prescription opioid painkillers to cash-paying “patients” has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. Dr. Andres Mecia, 64, of Fort Lauderdale, ran an opioid pill mill in his Oakland Park, Florida clinic, Adult & Geriatric Institute of Florida Inc., which operated under the name AGI Medical & Dental. According to the government’s allegations, Dr. Mencia and office personnel — Oscar Luis Ventura-Rodriguez, 41, of Ft. Lauderdale; Nadira Sampath-Grant, 51, of Margate, and John Mensah, 50, of Miami, performed sham consultations with patients seeking opioid drugs. In these consultations, Dr. Mencia and his co-conspirators ... Read More

Houston Psychiatrist Gets 12 Years For Health care Fraud Scheme

A Houston, Texas, psychiatrist convicted by a federal jury of engaging in a $155 million health care fraud scheme has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. Riyaz Mazcuri, 67, a former attending psychiatrist at Riverside General Hospital in Houston, received the sentence after a five-day trial that found him guilty on five counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, federal Judge Vanessa Gilmore in Houston ordered Dr. Mazcuri to pay $20.6 million in restitution to Medicare and $2.25 million in restitution to Medicaid. ... Read More

Aetna’s Opioid Fraud Lawsuit Against Insys Allowed to Stand

Insys Therapeutics must face a lawsuit filed by Aetna accusing the drug company of duping the health care insurance corporation into paying claims for Subsys prescriptions when the potent opioid painkiller was prescribed for unapproved, off-label purposes. U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe in Philadelphia refused to toss Aetna’s complaint in an Aug. 23 ruling. The lawsuit against Insys is one of several similar lawsuits filed by health insurers who accuse the drug maker of defrauding them into paying for Subsys prescriptions that were not just inappropriate but dangerous. Insys manufactured Subsys, the brand name for fentanyl, as a last-resort opioid ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps Medicare Recover $4 Million From Florida Dermatology Practice

A dermatologist who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a Florida dermatology practice alleging it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid has helped the U.S. government recover $4 million. Dermatology Healthcare, a Tampa-based provider of dermatology care to residents of assisted living facilities, agreed to settle the government’s claims of fraud, which originated with a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Dr. Theodore A. Schiff, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. Dr. Schiff filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging Dermatology Healthcare failed to adequately supervise the administration of superficial radiation therapy to ... Read More

Colorado, Florida Tire Defect Plaintiffs Get Class Certification

Drivers in Colorado and Florida suing TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. over allegedly defective tires received state class certification for their complaints. Plaintiffs from Arizona, California, Colorado, and Florida filed a complaint in June 2017, alleging they all bought trailers fitted with TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. tires with defects that caused their treads to separate from their casings. The plaintiffs allege that the tire companies knew the tires were prone to tread separation but failed to disclose the defect to consumers. The drivers filed a motion for class certification on April 27, 2018. According to Law 360, ... Read More

Court Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Suit Against New Mexico DA to Stand

A whistleblower lawsuit against a southern New Mexico district attorney has survived a second attempt by the defendant’s attorneys to get the case dismissed. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that New Mexico state judge Jarod Hofacket denied a motion by lawyers representing Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio to reject a whistleblower lawsuit brought by Marylou Bonacci, a former office manager at Mr. D’Antonio’s office. According to the Sun-News, Ms. Bonacci claims she was terminated in retaliation for speaking out against corruption and other wrongful conduct she allegedly witnessed in the D.A.’s office. The whistleblower lawsuit, which Ms. Bonacci filed ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Ends in $21 Million Recovery from Ambulance Kickback Schemers

A sprawling whistleblower lawsuit implicating an ambulance company, its affiliated companies, and several municipal clients in an illegal kickback scheme has been settled, federal prosecutors announced. East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Services (“the ETMC defendants”) their affiliated ambulance company, Paramedics Plus, and other defendants agreed to pay the U.S. more than $21 million to resolve the allegations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The government’s case against the ambulance industry defendants stems from a complaint filed by Dr. Stephen Dean under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The ... Read More