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Consumer Fraud 1005 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.

Florida Dermatologist Settles Medicare Fraud, Kickback Complaints

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A Florida federal judge has entered a judgement against a dermatologist and his medical practice, ordering them to pay more than $18 million for allegedly pocketing tens of millions of dollars from Medicare by ordering medically unnecessary biopsies, falsely diagnosing patients with cancer, performing unnecessary radiation treatments on patients, and illegally billing the government for those biopsies and radiation treatments. The allegations were originally made in two separate False Claims Act lawsuits filed in December 2013 and June 2014 by Dr. Theodore Schiff, a dermatologist who is the medical director and managing partner of Water’s Edge Dermatology LLC, a dermatology ... Read More

Volkswagen’s $1.22 Billion Repair and Buyback Plan Gets Preliminary Approval

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A federal judge granted preliminary approval Feb. 14 to a $1.22 billion plan for German automaker Volkswagen to repair or buy back about 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the U.S. that are equipped with an emissions cheat that allows them to spew illegal levels of pollution. The deal follows an earlier agreement requiring Volkswagen to spend as much as $10.3 billion to fix or buy back nearly half a million 2.0-liter diesel vehicles equipped with the same emissions-cheating software that allows them to emit as much as 40 times the allowable limits of toxic air pollutants. U.S. Judge Charles Breyer ... Read More

U.S. Joins Whistleblower lawsuit Against UnitedHealthcare

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The U.S. government has joined a former UnitedHealth executive in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the company “engaged in systematic fraud” that allowed it, subsidiary companies, and other insurers to fraudulently overcharge Medicare by “hundreds of millions — and likely billions — of dollars.” Benjamin Poehling, the former finance director for UnitedHealthcare Medicare and Retirement, a subsidiary that works with the Medicare Advantage program, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles in 2011 under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The lawsuit remained under seal for years while federal officials investigated Mr. Poehling’s claims. It became public ... Read More

Vizio televisions allegedly recorded data without consent; company settles

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While consumers have been watching TV, their TVs may have been watching what they were watching as well. According to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the New Jersey Attorney General and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, consumers have been unaware that while watching their internet-connected Vizio televisions, the company was recording data on their viewing habits and transmitting it back to data servers to be sold to advertisers and others. Vizio agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle charges that  it was collecting viewer data on 11 million consumer TVs without consumers’ consent or ... Read More

5-Hour Energy makers ordered to pay $4.3 million for misleading Washington consumers

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President Donald Trump’s travel ban wasn’t the only issue Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson was fighting on behalf of the citizens of his state. The same week a three-judge panel with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to remove a Seattle judge’s restraining order on the ban – a virtual win for Ferguson – Washington’s King County Superior Court Judge Beth M. Andrus slapped the makers of 5-Hour Energy drink with nearly $4.3 million in penalties and attorneys’ fees in a case brought by Ferguson alleging the company’s ads were misleading Washington consumers. Ferguson brought the suit ... Read More

Oklahoma Joins Federal Government in whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Kickbacks, False Claims

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The state of Oklahoma has joined federal prosecutors in alleging that the Oklahoma-based Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) and its director Stephen Williamson accepted millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks from a company that formerly provided Oklahoma’s ambulance services. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint in a Texas federal court seeking to partially intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit against EMSA, a public trust that provides ambulance service to more than 1.1 million people in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas. The state alleges that EMSA and Mr. Williamson engaged in a kickback scheme regarding highly profitable ambulance services ... Read More

Consumer, Environmental Advocates Sue To Stop Trump’s ‘Irrational’ Anti-Regulation Order

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Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has joined forces with other groups to take legal action against the Trump administration over a brawny executive order signed Jan. 30 that directs federal agencies to repeal two federal regulations for every new regulation passed. The order also sets a budget of $0 for rulemaking this fiscal year, without taking into consideration the value the rule would have on public protections. Because the executive order poses sweeping, potentially destructive threats to the American public, Public Citizen teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to sue ... Read More

D.C. Lawyer Busted For Attempting To Sell Sealed False Claims Act Complaint

whistleblower arrest - Public Domain Pictures

A D.C. lawyer from a leading international firm was busted in a Cupertino, California, hotel last month for trying to sell a copy of a False Claims Act lawsuit that was under seal. According to Bloomberg, an FBI agent arrested Jeffery Wertkin on Jan. 31 in the lobby of the Cupertino hotel. Mr. Wertkin, wearing a wig and going by the name Dan, believed he was handing the lawsuit to a contact of the potential defendant company in exchange for $310,000. The False Claims Act contains a qui tam or “whistleblower” provision that allows private parties to sue on behalf ... Read More

Hospital Staffing Firm Agrees To Pay U.S. $60 Million To Settle False Claims Act Lawsuit

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TeamHealth Holdings, a major U.S. hospital service provider, has agreed to pay $60 million plus interest to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a physician who accused IPC Healthcare Inc., a hospital manager that TeamHealth acquired, of overcharging federally funded health care programs for the services it performed. Dr. Bijan Oughatiyan, a physician formerly employed by IPC as a hospitalist, filed the original lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private parties to sue on behalf of the federal government in cases of suspected fraud. Federal prosecutors investigated Dr. Oughatiyan’s claims and chose ... Read More

Celgene Urges Judge To Reconsider $40 Billion False Claims Act Case Ruling

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Drugmaker Celgene has asked a California federal judge to reconsider his decision to allow most of a $40 billion False Claims Act lawsuit to advance, arguing that a recent Ninth Circuit ruling requires the court to apply standards established by the Supreme Court in the recent Escobar case that the whistleblower cannot satisfy, Law360 reports. In December, U.S. District Judge George H. King, Central District of California, ruled that the bulk of whistleblower Beverly Brown’s False Claims allegations can move forward. Ms. Brown’s lawsuit alleges that the drugmaker promoted its bone cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for unapproved purposes and ... Read More