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Consumer Fraud 393 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.

FDIC Offers Tips for those Struggling in the Surge of Data Breaches

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The recent flood of data breaches affecting stores such as Target and Home Depot has taken its toll on the financial security of shoppers. Unfortunately, consumers are simply unable to predict when and where a data breach might occur. However, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recommends taking the following steps to prevent fraudulent activity from affecting your bank account. *  Always check your credit card and bank statements for questionable transactions. A thorough review of your most recent transactions can be the best security for fraudulent activity. If you have any questions or concerns about a transaction you have ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit targets medical companies, professionals for unnecessary spinal surgeries

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The U.S. government has intervened in a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit against a Michigan neurosurgeon, a spinal implant company, two distributors, and the companies’ owners, alleging that the defendants conspired to perform medically unnecessary and excessive surgeries on patients for profit. The Justice Department also said that in addition to taking over the whistleblower lawsuit, it has filed a separate complaint against the same defendants for engaging in an illegal kickback scheme that put profits above patients’ needs. The whistleblower lawsuit was filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Dr. Caty Savitch and Dr. ... Read More

Judge allows whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit against Novartis to move forward

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A New York federal judge has rejected Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp.’s bid to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the company engaged in illegal kickback schemes involving two of its drugs, which resulted in false claims to Medicare and 27 state Medicaid programs. The lawsuit, filed under seal by whistleblower David Kester in 2011, was amended by the U.S. government in January, about nine months after it chose to intervene and take over the case as the U.S. False Claims Act allows it to do. Mr. Kester worked for seven years as an account manager for Novartis, a position that required him ... Read More

Home Depot confirms malware infiltrated its in-store payment systems in a nationwide data breach

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Home Depot, an American retailer of construction and home improvement products/services, has confirmed a data breach so large that some experts are saying it may even rival Target’s holiday data breach in 2013. Such as with data breaches in the past, the breach was found to have occurred in the company’s payment security systems. “We apologize for the frustration and anxiety this causes our customers, and I want to thank them for their patience and support as we work through this issue,” said Home Depot CEO Frank Blake in a statement released Monday. Home Depot’s announcement claims that no evidence ... Read More

Whistleblower accuses Pennsylvania hospital of retaliation and false claims to Medicare

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A former employee of Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital alleging she was fired in retaliation for reporting that laboratory technicians were modifying orders for blood work in a way that resulted in the submission of false claims to Medicare for reimbursement. Joanne Cleighton filed the whistleblower lawsuit on Aug. 11 in a Philadelphia federal court, alleging that Abington Memorial suspended her without pay and then fired her for voicing her objections to the alleged false claims despite her 26-year employment with the hospital and “exemplary” work history. The lawsuit states that if ... Read More

Oregon sues Oracle over failed health insurance enrollment system, cites whistleblower tips

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The State of Oregon is relying on whistleblower allegations as part of a potential multi-billion-dollar lawsuit it filed against software manufacturer Oracle America and six of its top executives over the state’s failed health insurance exchange website that left state residents without a way to register for health insurance. Oregon contracted with Oracle to develop the state’s health insurance website, which was called Cover Oregon. The website was allegedly so full of glitches that it never launched publicly, leaving the state in a scramble to find, hire, and train hundreds of workers to process health insurance applications by hand. According ... Read More

Various U.S. agencies identify ‘Backoff’ malware as source of recent cyber attacks including Target

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An advisory sent out from the Department of Homeland Security identified more than 1,000 American businesses that have been the target of a cyber attack affecting cash registers at the point of sale. Businesses that have admitted they were hacked include Target, Supervalu and The UPS Stores. Due to the rise in cyber attacks at storefronts, millions of American consumers have had their financial information pilfered by hackers without the knowledge of the compromised businesses. These affected businesses, which have grown in number significantly in recent years, feature payment systems that are outdated and vulnerable to hackers. Many national security agencies, including ... Read More

“The UPS Store” in 24 states hit by a data breach

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A computer virus may have targeted 51 “The UPS Store” locations in 24 different states, resulting in the exposure of credit and debit card information of consumers all over the nation. According to UPS spokeswoman Chelsea Lee, the compromised information includes names, card numbers as well as postal and email addresses from at least 100,000 transactions taking place between Jan. 20 and Aug. 11 of this year. UPS is unaware of any fraudulent activity having occurred due to the attack, Lee said. A bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security brought the suspected malware to the attention of U.S. retailers, ... Read More

Whistleblower’s False Claims lawsuit against Samsung leads to $2.3 million settlement

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Samsung Electronics America Inc. has agreed to pay $2.3 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that its business practices led the U.S. government to unknowingly purchase foreign electronics from countries not approved under the Trade Agreements Act and thus the submission of false claims for those products. The lawsuit concerns contracts under the federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA), which awards Multiple Award Schedule contracts to multiple companies that provide comparable products and services. Once the GSA negotiates and awards the contract, any federal agency may purchase under it. Generally the Trade Agreements Act requires the U.S. government to buy products made ... Read More

Bank of America settles mortgage fraud claims with U.S. and six states for record $16.65 million

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The U.S. Justice Department and six state attorneys general have reached a $16.65-billion settlement with Bank of America Corporation to resolve claims that the bank and its former and current subsidiaries, including Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, defrauded investors, government agencies, and hundreds of thousands of customers in a massive scheme that ultimately crippled the U.S. economy. The settlement is the largest civil settlement with a single corporation in U.S. history. The Justice Department said that the settlement resolves multiple ongoing investigations related to Bank of America’s packaging, marketing, selling, arrangement, structuring, and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), collateralized debt ... Read More