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Consumer Fraud 515 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.

Target settles data breach litigation with MasterCard for $19 million

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The Target data breach litigation hit another milestone as the corporation agreed to a settlement of about $19 million to be paid to MasterCard Inc. in order to reimburse financial institutions affected by the retailer’s 2013 cyberattack. According to a statement released by the retailer this week, the Target data breach compromised the personal and financial information of as many as 110 million Target customers. The customer information, including telephone numbers and email addresses, was captured through the credit/debit cards using malware secretly located in the store’s point-of-sale (POS) systems. The MasterCard settlement seeks to right the wrongs that occurred when ... Read More

Orlando construction firm settles whistleblower allegations with U.S.

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Air Ideal Inc., a general construction and HVAC firm, and its majority owner have agreed to pay the U.S. $250,000 to and five percent revenues for the next five years to resolve a whistleblower’s False Claims Act allegations that the company made false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to obtain certification as a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone” (HUBZone) company. The whistleblower complaint alleged that Air Ideal and its principal owner Kim Amkraut applied to the HUBZone program in 2010, claiming the company’s main office was located in a zone that qualified for the ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuits help U.S. recover nearly $50 million from medical testing labs

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Three separate whistleblower lawsuits against a series of diagnostic laboratories and their administrators have been settled, leading to a recovery of nearly $50 million for federal health care programs, the U.S. Justice Department announced. Richmond, Va.-based Health Diagnostics Laboratory Inc. has agreed to pay $47 million to settle the whistleblower complaint, which alleged the company effectively paid physicians for patient referrals and billed Medicare and other federal health care programs for medically unnecessary testing. Singulex, Inc., a medical diagnostic technology company based in Alameda, Calif., agreed to pay the U.S. $1.5 million to resolve similar allegations. The U.S. government also ... Read More

Fresenius battles in court over fraudulent billing practices

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Dialysis products and services giant Fresenius Medical Care asked a Georgia federal judge to dismiss a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit claiming the company fraudulently billed Medicare for excess drugs, arguing that a whistleblower’s allegations were aired in several public documents years before his lawsuit was filed. The documents in question involved three unsealed FCA complaints, an inspector general’s report, a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice, and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which described the company’s practice of using “overfill” from vials of the anemia drug Epogen and hyperparathyroidism drug Zemplar. Fresenius also challenged the whistleblower, saying ... Read More

AT&T data breach complaint settled for $25 million

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A data breach affecting nearly 280,000 AT&T subscribers settled for $25 million after call center contractors in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines stole and exposed Social Security numbers and other customer personal information. From November 2013 until April 2014, AT&T call center contractors were responsible for the theft of 68,000 customer personal information records. However, according the complaint released by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investors, the call centers responsible for the AT&T data breach were for helping Spanish-speaking subscribers, not English-speaking. The leaked AT&T subscriber data was used by criminals to submit roughly 300,000 requests to unlock cellphones. Following the ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit leads to $4.41-million recovery from Medtronic

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Medical device manufacturer Medtronic and three affiliated companies have agreed to pay the U.S. $4.41 million to resolve allegations stemming from a whistleblower complaint that they made false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense about the country of origin of certain products they sold to the U.S. The whistleblower complaint alleges that Medtronic plc, Medtronic Inc., Medtronic USA Inc., and Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA Inc., sold certain cardiac and spinal surgery devices and instruments to the Veterans Administration (VA) and Defense Department that they certified would be made in the United States ... Read More

Auburn University data breach exposed current, former and prospective student info

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A “data security incident” has been confirmed by Auburn University, exposing the personal information of current, former and even prospective students. The data breach was discovered on March 2 after the University learned its servers were made accessible online by accident. According to a statement by Auburn’s Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM), the information compromised in the Auburn University data breach was a mixture of names, addresses, birth dates, email addresses, academic information and even Social Security numbers. Auburn University’s investigation also discovered the information had been accessible from Sept. 1, 2014 until March 2, 2015. No information linked to ... Read More

President Obama calls for consumer protections against predatory lenders

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On Thursday, President Barack Obama visited Birmingham, Ala., to talk about the need to reform the payday and title loan industry. His choice of Alabama was no mistake. In this state, any reforms against predatory lenders have been effectively barred by loads of money the industry showers upon Alabama legislators. Speaking at Lawson State Community College, President Obama told the audience that Alabama has four times more payday loan businesses than McDonald’s. And, according to AL.com, “like the McDonald’s dollar menu, those lenders have some nasty deals for the poor and famished.” In this state, predatory lenders are allowed to charge ... Read More

Whistleblower files retaliation lawsuit against JC Penny

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A former JC Penny employee has filed a retaliation lawsuit against the retail giant, alleging it retaliated against him for voicing concerns over practices, he says, were designed to cheat customers. Robert Blatchford, who worked in JC Penny’s custom decorating department in St. Petersburg, Fla., between 2007 and 2009 and again on a part-time basis from August 2012 to July 2013, filed a complaint against the company under Florida’s Private Whistleblower Act, which prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who discloses, threatens to disclose, objects to, or refuses to participate in a violation of the law. According to Fortune, ... Read More

Fireman’s Fund pays $44 million to settle insurance fraud allegations

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An insurance company that sells federally reinsured policies nationwide to farmers in need of crop insurance has agreed to pay the U.S. $44 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that it knowingly issued ineligible policies and falsified documents to boost its profits. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, an Allianz SE subsidiary headquartered in Novato, Calif., participated in the federal crop insurance program, selling and servicing crop insurance policies that were reinsured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a portion of the risks. U.S. prosecutors alleged that the insurance fraud scheme involved Fireman’s Fund ... Read More