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.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama visited Birmingham, Ala., to talk about the need to reform the payday and title loan industry. His choice of Alabama was no mistake. In this state, any reforms against predatory lenders have been effectively barred by loads of money the industry showers upon Alabama legislators. Speaking at Lawson State Community College, President Obama told the audience that Alabama has four times more payday loan businesses than McDonald’s. And, according to AL.com, “like the McDonald’s dollar menu, those lenders have some nasty deals for the poor and famished.” In this state, predatory lenders are allowed to charge ... Read More
A former JC Penny employee has filed a retaliation lawsuit against the retail giant, alleging it retaliated against him for voicing concerns over practices, he says, were designed to cheat customers. Robert Blatchford, who worked in JC Penny’s custom decorating department in St. Petersburg, Fla., between 2007 and 2009 and again on a part-time basis from August 2012 to July 2013, filed a complaint against the company under Florida’s Private Whistleblower Act, which prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who discloses, threatens to disclose, objects to, or refuses to participate in a violation of the law. According to Fortune, ... Read More
An insurance company that sells federally reinsured policies nationwide to farmers in need of crop insurance has agreed to pay the U.S. $44 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that it knowingly issued ineligible policies and falsified documents to boost its profits. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, an Allianz SE subsidiary headquartered in Novato, Calif., participated in the federal crop insurance program, selling and servicing crop insurance policies that were reinsured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a portion of the risks. U.S. prosecutors alleged that the insurance fraud scheme involved Fireman’s Fund ... Read More
The U.S. military, stretched thin by wars in the Middle East and other conflicts, is relying more and more on contracted soldiers from private firms for military and security operations traditionally performed by our troops. But sadly, as a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act indicates sometimes these private forces fail to provide adequate and competent defense. Omar Badr, a medic for private military/security firm Triple Canopy, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging it hired guards from Uganda that couldn’t properly shoot. According to the complaint, ... Read More
A class action lawsuit filed in behalf of California consumers claims that California wineries are producing wine contaminated with dangerously high levels of arsenic and failing to warn consumers about the potential risks of arsenic exposure. The lawsuit targets 28 wineries including Franzia, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage, and involve mostly inexpensive white or blush varieties such as moscato, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc. Plaintiffs attorneys say 1,306 different types of wine were tested by BeverageGrades of Denver, and 83 showed dangerously elevated levels of inorganic arsenic in wines. The results were confirmed by two other labs. ... Read More
A Florida oncologist will receive more than $1 million for his role in exposing False Claims Act violations in several Florida hospitals operated by the Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare Corporation. The U.S. Justice Department said that Adventist has agreed to pay $5,412,502 to settle allegations filed in a whistleblower complaint by Dr. Michael Montejo, a radiation oncologist and former employee of Florida Oncology Network P.A., a radiation oncology group. In his lawsuit, Dr. Montejo claimed that several Adventist hospitals in Florida were providing radiation oncology services to Medicare and TRICARE (the Defense Department’s health care program) beneficiaries that weren’t ... Read More
The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it has reached a $1.1 million settlement with Gilbane Building Company to resolve whistleblower allegations that a Gilbane subsidiary created a front company as a means of getting government contracts intended for disabled veteran-owned businesses. The lawsuit, filed by Michael Jeske and Samuel McIntosh under the False Claims Act in a Florida federal court, claimed that subsidiary company W.G. Mills, a Florida construction company now doing business as Mills Gilbane, violated the False Claims Act by creating a fictitious company called Veterans Constructors Incorporated. Mr. Jeske and Mr. McIntosh alleged that Veterans Constructors Inc. ... Read More
Following one of the largest data breaches in history, Target will pay compromised customers a total of $10 million in a proposed class-action settlement. The Target data breach settlement, which still requires federal court approval, will pay out up to $10,000 in damages to data breach victims with burden of proof that the cyberattack affected them negatively. According to the proposal, claims will be submitted and handled mainly through a Target data breach settlement website designated for retrieving affected customer information. Court documents also show that Target will be required to follow stricter data security measures, including the appointment of ... Read More
Just three years since lawmakers created the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower to better police Wall Street, the program has been a tremendous success, resulting in larger penalties and tougher prison sentences, a new academic study has concluded. Researchers from Arizona State University, American University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Iowa collaborated on the study, looking at fines and penalties resulting from whistleblower-driven SEC and Justice Department enforcement actions from 1978 to 2012, the year the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower launched. Their goal was to determine whether whistleblowers have any measurable impact ... Read More
A Florida home health care company has agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.1 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit brought against it by a former employee, who alleged the company entered into improper financial arrangements with doctors and violated federal anti-kickback laws. The complaint, filed by whistleblower Gregory Simony in a U.S. court in Tampa, Fla., alleged that Recovery Home Care Inc., Recovery Home Care Services Inc. (collectively Recovery Home Care), and National Home Care Holdings LLC paid dozens of physicians thousands of dollars each month to perform patient chart reviews that involved little or no work. West Palm Beach, ... Read More