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Consumer Fraud 1032 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.

Admitting Guilt For Its Emissions Cheat Shows VW Lied, Investors Claim

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Volkswagen AG investors in a proposed class against the German automaker are seeking a partial summary judgment on certain claims involving the auto manufacturer’s emissions cheat, arguing the company acknowledged when it pleaded guilty to civil and criminal charges that it made false statements with intent to mislead. “Having accepted criminal liability for knowingly and fraudulently misrepresenting the ‘clean diesel’ vehicles’ ‘environmental friendliness,’ and emissions compliance, VW AG cannot credibly dispute that it misrepresented those same facts to investors, and did so with [full knowledge],” the investors claim, adding that “Discovery and further litigation on these undisputed points would be ... Read More

Idaho County Official Awarded $1.74 Million in Whistleblower Retaliation Suit

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An Idaho jury has awarded a former Ada County, Idaho, official $1.74 million, concluding a four-year legal battle that began with a whistleblower complaint. According to the Idaho Statesman, Rich Wright, formerly a television journalist and Boise Police Department spokesman, became Ada County’s spokesman in 2006. He was promoted to lead the Department of Administration in 2008, but was fired in January 2015, one day after two newly elected county commissioners were sworn in. Mr. Wright filed a lawsuit against the county for $1.5 million, alleging he was fired in retaliation for ordering an investigation of harassment complaints from a ... Read More

Lab Animal Company Pays U.S. $1.8 Million To Settle FCA Allegations of Improper Billing

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A company that provides laboratory animals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.8 million to settle a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit claiming the company fraudulently charged for labor and other costs that were never actually provided. Charles River Laboratories International Inc. holds contracts with the NIH to develop, provide, maintain, and distribute animals to NIH for medical and biotech purposes. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Wilmington, Massachusetts-based corporation billed the NIH for labor and associated costs of employees at its facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Kingston, ... Read More

CA Technologies Pays $45 Million To Resolve Whistleblower FCA Complaint

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CA Technologies has agreed to pay $45 million to settle a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit accusing the company of denying the federal government the same discounts it provided to its commercial customers. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by Israeli whistleblower Dani Shemesh, a former employee of CA Software Israel LTD. Mr. Shemesh alleged that the Manhattan-based technology-management software company, formerly known as Computer Associates, did not disclose its discounting policies when negotiating a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in 2002. That contact required CA to provide the same discounts on products and services that it ... Read More

U.S. Judge Denies Quicken Loans Motion To Dismiss FCA Lawsuit Alleging Mortgage Fraud

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A federal judge in Detroit rejected a motion last week by Quicken Loans to toss a False Claims Act (FCA) complaint alleging that it knowingly approved mortgage loans that did not meet the qualifications for FHA insurance. In his Feb. 9 ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith allows the FCA suit against Quicken Loans to advance, but reduced the time-frame by nearly half due to the statute of limitations. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) brought the complaint against Quicken Loans, alleging that the ignored “red flags” in risky home loans that failed to meet federal standards for FHA insurance. The ... Read More

Small town mayor sues OxyContin maker over costs of addiction

World of Pain

The mayor of a small town north of Seattle, Washington, is taking the fight against prescription drug abuse to a new level. Mayor Ray Stephanson is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin, alleging the drugmaker knew its opioid was being sold on the black market in his town of Everett. Since Purdue allowed this illegal activity to continue, the drug company should pay for damages, he alleges. Stephanson says his working class community of 108,000 people has seen a spike in drug-related deaths and street crimes. As a result, Everett has had to step up police ... Read More

Whistleblower Set to Receive $4.3 Million From Chicago State University

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After years of fending off a whistleblower lawsuit, Chicago State University is set to pay $4.3 million to a former administrator who successfully sued the school in 2010, alleging he was wrongfully fired for exposing questionable contracts. James Crowley’s whistleblower-retaliation lawsuit was the first to be tried under Illinois’ new state ethics act. His complaint alleged that Chicago State University fired him after he refused to withhold documents about former university president Wayne Watson’s employment that a faculty member had sought under the Illinois Open Records Law and for reporting dubious contracts to the state attorney general’s office. Jurors awarded Mr. Crowley ... Read More

Traditional milk takes aim at plant-based alternatives

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The milk in your local grocery’s dairy aisle is claiming identity theft, and it even has a proposed bill in Congress to bolster its case. According to Fortune, the milk industry has twice attempted in the last two decades to convince the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce its definition of milk, “the lacteal secretion…obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.” The definition means the almond, coconut, soy, cashew or pea milk sold in grocery stores technically doesn’t make the cut. It is a point of contention for traditional milk producers because the FDA has ... Read More

So-called Ag-Gag Bill attempts To Make Agriculture Industry Whistleblowing a Crime

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A new anti-whistleblower “Ag-Gag” bill was introduced in the Arkansas legislature last month, marking the fourth attempt by some of the state’s elected officials to try and make reporting wrongdoing in the agricultural industry a punishable offense. According to the Food Integrity Campaign, the proposed bill HB 1665 is also the most nefarious of the Ag-Gag bills introduced to the Arkansas legislature in recent years because it seeks to gag would-be whistleblowers not just in agriculture, but in other industries as well. The Food Integrity Campaign writes: What could make a bill designed to make it illegal to document crimes ... Read More

Court’s Ruling in Digital Realty Retaliation Complaint Allows Broader Whistleblower Protections  

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A former sales representative for a San Francisco datacenter acquisition company who claims to have been fired for reporting financial wrongdoing internally may still sue the company as a whistleblower even though he did not contact the federal government, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled February 9. The ruling provides further clarity on what whistleblower activity is protected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Dodd-Frank law. The question of whether a whistleblower who is fired for reporting financial improprieties to his employer but not federal regulators is one that has divided federal courts in the ... Read More