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Consumer Fraud 490 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.

Janssen ordered to pay $136 million for Risperdal illegal marketing

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The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmacetuicals to pay $136 million to the state for deceptively marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The decision upholds penalties against the company but reduces the damages, which were originally set at $327 million by a trial court in 2011. Justices said the penalty had to be reduced because of South Carolina’s three-year statute of limitations. Risperdal, known generically as risperidone, is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability with autism. The drug has also been prescribed off label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity ... Read More

Novartis seeks more time in whistleblower case

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Drug giant Novartis told a New York federal judge that it needs more time in a whistleblower case. The company said the deadline proposed by a whistleblower seeking the release of the company’s privilege log and other documents as part of a False Claims Act lawsuit is not feasible. “That simply is not a feasible deadline,” Novartis said in a memorandum for opposition. The drug maker also said that throwing documents together in haste would force it “to make important privilege determinations” with prejudice, Law360 reported. Former Novartis employee David Kester filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the drug maker under the ... Read More

Whistleblower claims Novartis is withholding documents

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A whistleblower suing his former employer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, over an alleged kickback scheme has asked a New York federal court to order the drug maker to turn over documents he claims were improperly altered and withheld during the discovery process. Former Novartis employee David Kester filed his lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act in 2011, asserting that Novartis had engaged in kickback schemes to push its drugs with CVS Caremark and other pharmacy companies. Mr. Kester’s lawsuit contends that the illegal kickback scheme was designed to boost sales of iron reduction drug Exjade and organ transplant ... Read More

U.S. awards whistleblower for exposing fraudulent import duty scheme

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A group of companies that make and sell shower doors and enclosures has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $3 million collectively to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower that they engaged in schemes to dodge customs duties on aluminum extrusions they imported from China. Federal prosecutors said that California-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Florida-based Southeastern Aluminum Products Inc. and Texas-based Waterfall Group LLC have agreed to pay $2,300,000, $650,000 and $100,000, respectively, to resolve the allegations. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the three companies made false declarations to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection ... Read More

Whistleblower exposes potential fraud against Arizona electricity consumers

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Arizona electricity consumers could challenge rate hikes for electrical service in light of a whistleblower’s allegations that a former commissioner of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) got “too cozy” with the head of the state’s largest electricity provider. The whistleblower, a former executive assistant at the ACC, made numerous allegations in the letter concerning an improper relationship between former commissioner Gary Pierce and Arizona Public Service CEO Don Brandt. Mr. Pierce was one of the five commissioners who set electricity rates that Arizona residents must pay before he retired in December. The letter was sent to the Arizona Attorney General’s ... Read More

Dow Chemical and whistleblower reach settlement in financial fraud case

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A whistleblower who sued Dow Chemical Co. alleging she was fired in retaliation for exposing financial fraud that included lavish spending by CEO Andrew Liveris and other executives, has reached a settlement with her former employer. Kimberly Wood, a fraud investigator who worked for Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical for 25 years, claimed the company fired her in Oct. 2013 after she questioned expenditures by Mr. Liveris and Executive Vice President Charles Kalil, including $13 million in cost overruns from a hotel project Dow was funding. Ms. Wood also uncovered company expenses for a number trips the Liveris family took to ... Read More

USDA whistleblowers: pork program public health risk

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is standing by a pilot pork inspection program that is being tested at five slaughterhouses nationwide, despite whistleblower revelations that the new method is allowing pork products to be contaminated with hair, toenails, and fecal matter, putting consumers at risk of illness. Four federal meat inspectors have submitted affidavits detailing how, from their observations, the pork inspection program is failing to protect public health while making it easier for meat processors to streamline operations and increase output. The inspection program essentially allows companies greater regulatory control by allowing plant workers to assume many of the ... Read More

Up to $1 billion stolen from banks in worldwide data breach affecting 30 countries

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A worldwide data breach stealing up to $1 billion from banks across the globe was recently reported by Russian security company Kaspersky Lab. According to Kaspersky Lab, hackers were responsible for infiltrating more than 100 banks in 30 different countries by using phishing schemes, such as virus-infected emails appearing to be from a colleague, allowing them access to the banks’ computer systems. While in control of the bank computers, cyber criminals could not only learn how the bank operates, but even video and screen-shot employees working in the bank. The longer hackers could study a bank day-to-day, the easier it was ... Read More

Top whistleblower advises ‘talk to a lawyer’

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A securities lawyer whose whistleblower case against J.P. Morgan led to the largest-ever settlement between the U.S. government and another entity told Financial News that it’s essential for any potential whistleblower to consult with a lawyer before doing anything. Alayne Fleischman, whose allegations that her former employer knowingly sold faulty mortgage investments that ultimately contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, is considered one of the most successful whistleblowers in the world. Rolling Stone described her as “J.P. Morgan’s worst nightmare” when her case against J.P. Morgan led to the record settlement, costing the financial giant $13 billion. Between 2006 and 2008, ... Read More

One billion data records stolen in 2014 data breaches worldwide

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According to findings from cybersecurity firm Gemalto, one billion data records were compromised around the world by more than 1,500 data breaches in 2014. Even more shocking, the rate of data breach occurrences rose 49 percent and the amount of data stolen increased 78 percent, in comparison to 2013. Financial information access was not the main target of 2014’s data breaches, accounting for just 17 percent. Instead, hackers turned their attention to identity theft, accounting for 54 percent of the data compromised. While the decrease in finance-related theft seems promising, the increase in identity theft is a frightening outcome for everyday consumers. “Identity ... Read More