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.
Lunada Biomedical Inc. has accepted a nearly $40 million judgment to settle false advertising claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) involving its dietary supplement Amberen, and to stop promoting the product as “clinically proven” to relieve symptoms of menopause and trim belly fat. The FTC had filed the lawsuit last year, claiming Lunada had generated $60 million in sales of Amberen by running national radio and television advertisements that claimed the product “restores hormonal balance naturally, so the weight can just fall right off. Even that stubborn belly fat,” and that Amberen was “the ONLY product on the market today ... Read More
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it will award between $5 million and $6 million to a former company insider whose detailed tips led agency investigators to uncover securities violations that “would have been nearly impossible for it to detect but for the whistleblower’s information.” The award, last week, was the third largest the agency has paid to a whistleblower. In September 2014, the agency paid more than $30 million to a whistleblower who provided inside information about an ongoing fraud that would have been difficult for outside regulators to detect. That award exceeded the previous highest award of more ... Read More
The owner of a Kentucky ambulance company has filed a False Claims Act lawsuit in federal court against a competitor company, alleging it routinely bills Medicare for ambulance trips that aren’t medically necessary and engages in kickback schemes designed to drive up profits. In the complaint, Darrell Stephen McIntosh, owner of McIntosh Ambulance Services, accuses Arrow-Med Ambulance and its owner Hershel Jay Arrowood of pressuring paramedics and emergency technicians to exaggerate the medical conditions of patients so that it could bill Medicare for the rides. “Arrowood has a car lot and sells flooring, but got into the ambulance business in ... Read More
A former Wells Fargo loan officer who claims he was fired in retaliation for complaining about allegedly illegal and unethical directives that could have forced some customers into foreclosure proceedings has filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against the bank in a Portland, Ore., federal court, accusing it of defrauding the federal government by improperly collecting $1.4 billion in foreclosure-prevention funds for loans during the housing crisis. In December 2013, whistleblower Duke Tran “stumbled upon a secret Wells Fargo policy that he felt compromised his personal ethics and violated the laws governing mortgage servicing,” the complaint asserts. The policy required ... Read More
Massachusetts-based drugmaker Aegerion Pharmaceuticals announced May 12 that it would plead guilty to two misdemeanors, pay $40 million in penalties, and enter into a number of settlements and agreements with federal regulators over alleged marketing and distribution violations concerning its cholesterol drug Juxtapid. Juxtapid is one of just two products that Aegerion Pharmaceuticals manufactures and sells. It is used for the treatment of a genetic cholesterol disorder. According to Law 360, both criminal pleas involve misbranding violations under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. One count alleges Aegerion marketed Juxtapid without full directions for use, even though the drug ... Read More
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it has awarded than $3.5 million to a company employee whose whistleblower tips bolstered an ongoing investigation with additional evidence of misconduct that strengthened the SEC’s case. The SEC noted in its announcement that whistleblowers are encouraged to come forward and report allegations of potential securities laws violations even if they think the SEC may already be looking into it. “Whistleblowers can receive an award not only when their tip initiates an investigation, but also when they provide new information or documentation that advances an existing inquiry,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of ... Read More
M&T Bank Corp. will pay the U.S. government $64 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower who accused the Buffalo, New York-based bank of knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans that failed to meet requirements for FHA-insured loans. The settlement is the latest in a series of resolutions involving banks that defrauded the federal government by approving risky and unqualified mortgage loans, a practice that grew rampant in the 2000s and contributed to the economic collapse and housing crisis. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, M&T Bank was a direct endorsement lender in the FHA ... Read More
A whistleblower who accuses a cardiac-monitoring company of violating the False Claims Act (FCA) by using unlicensed workers in India to monitor heart patients scored a victory last week when an Illinois federal court tossed a counterclaim against him. Matthew Cieszynski, who formerly worked as a certified technician for Illinois-based cardiac monitoring provider LifeWatch, sued the company on behalf of the U.S. government in 2012 after a patient died because of a faulty diagnosis made by an unqualified worker overseas. At that point, Mr. Cieszynski, whose job was to conduct heart monitoring tests, grew even more concerned that the Indian workers ... Read More
A number of drug manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Endo are part of a federal investigation into a False Claims Act complaint involving pharmacy benefit managers, regulatory filings revealed. According to Law 360, Johnson & Johnson disclosed in its quarterly report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) May 10 that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan has been investigating a decade’s worth of contractual business dealings between J&J unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals and pharmacy benefit managers. Pharmacy benefit managers serve as a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs for health care plans, nursing homes, and other large ... Read More
A new Congressional audit performed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that privately administered Public Medicare Advantage plans systematically overbill the government billions of dollars, but they are rarely forced to repay the money or penalized for their actions. The GAO audit, which was prompted by a Center for Public Integrity investigation exposing billing fraud among the plans, illuminates the government’s serious shortcomings in recouping vital Medicare funds from companies aiming to boost their profits. Medicare Advantage Plans enroll more than 17 million seniors and receive more than $160 billion from the government every year. The Center for Public ... Read More