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Consumer Fraud 1259 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.

Whistleblower’s Import Fraud Case Helps U.S. Recover $10.5 Million

A whistleblower who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging Bassett Mirror Company was evading customs duties by misclassifying its imported furniture has helped the U.S. government recover $10.5 million. Bassett Mirror Company, a Virginia-based home furnishing company, imports wooden bedroom furniture from the People’s Republic of China. According to the whistleblower allegations, Bassett evaded paying antidumping duties on those furniture imports by intentionally misclassifying them as non-bedroom furniture. Antidumping duties are put in place to protect U.S. manufacturers from foreign companies “dumping” products on the U.S. market at prices below cost. The U.S. Commerce Department assesses the duties and the ... Read More

VW Emissions Settlements Don’t Affect County Claims, Plaintiffs Argue

Settlements resolving claims over Volkswagen’s (VW) emissions cheat and the federal Clean Air Act do not bar air pollution complaints lodged by Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah, lawyers for the counties told a California federal court. Volkswagen is pressing the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to toss the counties’ claims that they are entitled to compensation for pollution caused by VW’s emissions cheat under state laws. Those complaints are currently included in multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the California court. In 2014, West Virginia University researchers and other members of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) discovered ... Read More

California Whistleblower Case Against BP Recovers $102 Million

BP has agreed to pay $102 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought under California’s False Claims Act alleging the oil company intentionally overcharged the state for natural gas for more than a decade. The law firm representing the whistleblower in the case said it is the largest whistleblower settlement involving an oil company in California’s history, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The case started on July 3, 2012, when former BP employee Chris Schroen filed a whistleblower complaint with the state alleging BP was knowingly quoting and charging the state gas prices above the contractual price cap. The ... Read More

Whistleblowers Aid in $24 Million Recovery From Kool Smiles Dental Chain

Multiple whistleblower lawsuits alleging a pediatric dental chain and a dental management company systematically defrauded Medicaid programs in several states have led to a settlement of nearly $24 million. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Kool Smiles Dental Clinics and dental management company Benevis LLC (formerly NCDR LLC) conspired to bill Medicaid programs for root canals and other dental procedures on children that weren’t medically necessary or never provided. According to the whistleblower complaints, Kool Smiles, which operates more than 130 dental clinics in 17 states, routinely pressured and incentivized dentists to meet production goals through a system that ... Read More

Equifax Data Breach Victims Try to Reclaim Their Identities

Most U.S. citizens have heard by now of the massive Equifax data breach that exposed the personal information of about 145 million Americans. For those fortunate enough to have gone unharmed so far, the breach may be little more than an occasional concern for some bad things that could happen. But for Katie Van Fleet, the Equifax data breach has been and continues to be a nightmare. Ms. Van Fleet, who told her story to CBS News, said her troubles began with a single notification for a credit card she never applied for. Within weeks, identity thieves with her personal ... Read More

Supplement maker sued by FTC over false claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing CellMark Biopharma LLC and its founder over the marketing of dietary supplements that claim to treat cancer-related malnutrition and improve cognitive impairment. The FTC alleges that from January 2016 to January 2017, founder Derek Vest and his company marketed and sold a malnutrition-fighting supplement drink called CellAssure and a cognitive impairment-fighting supplement Cognify as clinically proven to treat these conditions. But, the FTC charges, there are no human tests with these products to back up the claims. These false claims violate the FTC Act, and as a result, the supplement company should be ... Read More

Utah Doctor Faces False Claims Act Allegations

A physician slated to oversee medical studies of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a cannabis compound that could be beneficial in treating epileptic seizures and other health problems, is facing a federal False Claims Act complaint accusing him of overbilling Medicare. Ogden, Utah’s Standard-Examiner reports that the False Claims Act lawsuit accuses Dr. Steven Warren of Bountiful, Utah, of improperly billing Medicare 80 times between February 2012 and July 2014 for visits to nursing home patients outside of Utah and receiving overpayments as a result. Under the False Claims Act, health care providers that improperly bill Medicare and other government health care ... Read More

Meltdown and Spectre Processor Flaws Expose Everyone to Data Theft

Meltdown and Spectre, the names given to recently detected hardware vulnerabilities in microprocessors that expose nearly every computer, smartphone, and server to potential data theft, have hardware and software developers scrambling to develop protective patches. Consumers of both Windows and Mac computers are being urged to update their operating software immediately. While many Windows and Mac updates are automatic, many computer users may have their devices configured to refuse automatic updates. Researchers say that Meltdown, a flaw that affects the communication between applications and the operating system, affects nearly every Intel central processing unit (CPU) made since 1995, with the ... Read More

Alex Azar Nomination Opposed in Letter to Senate

More than 60 health care and consumer organizations have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging lawmakers to oppose the confirmation of Alex Azar, the former head of Eli Lily and Company’s U.S. division, to Secretary of Health and Human Services. “The undersigned organizations, representing patients, healthcare providers, public health experts, women, people of color, workers, consumers, and people of faith strongly urge you to vote against confirming Alex Azar … We are deeply concerned by statements made by Mr. Azar as well as his record at the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company,” the letter states. The authors ... Read More

Equifax Data Breach Lawsuits Consolidated For MDL in Georgia

Lawsuits against the credit reporting company Equifax over last year’s data breach have been consolidated in a Georgia federal court for multidistrict litigation (MDL). The lawsuits that have been centralized in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia include class actions filed by consumers who claim the breach violated their privacy and exposed them to identity theft and by banks and other financial institutions that have racked up considerable expense in responding to the breach on behalf of their customers. The Equifax data breach occurred in mid-May 2017 and continued undetected through at least June, exposing the data ... Read More