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Consumer Fraud 1449 articles

Whistleblower Instrumental in Recovering $2.5 Million in Taxpayer Funds From SC University

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. government recover $2.5 million in taxpayer funds from a private South Carolina “Christian” university that allegedly engaged in unlawful incentive-based recruitment schemes. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, North Greenville University (NGU) entered a settlement agreement with the federal government resolving a False Claims Act lawsuit initiated by whistleblower Maurice Shoe. The complaint alleged NGU made payments in the form of commissions, bonuses, and other incentives to a company named Joined Inc., a marketing and recruiting company for Christian colleges and universities. The unlawful payments were based on the company’s success in ... Read More

Whistleblowers Awarded $160,000 in Retaliation Case

A Connecticut awning manufacturer that wrongfully fired two employee whistleblowers for reporting safety and health violations on the job must pay the discharged workers a total of $160,000, a federal court has ruled. Two employees of Eastern Awning, which manufactures retractable fabric patio awnings in Watertown, Connecticut, filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after they became ill while working in the plant’s powder coat room in June 2009. OSHA investigated the whistleblower complaints and cited the company in December 2009 for willfully exposing the workers to inhalation hazards and for lack of adequate ventilation. While OSHA’s ... Read More

OSHA Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case Against Vermont Realty Co

Federal authorities took the side of a whistleblower who complained that his employer, a Vermont real estate company, fired him in retaliation for reporting what he believed were illegal transactions within the company. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it ordered Hermitage Club Realty LLC to pay the former employee/whistleblower $42,693 in back pay, bonuses, and compensatory damages. Hermitage Club Realty, the on-site realty agency of a luxury ski and golf development in Wilmington, Vermont, fired the employee on Dec. 18, 2017, after he filed a formal complaint with Vermont regulators, according to OSHA. OSHA investigated the ... Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuit Leads to $17 Million Recovery from Pentec Health

A whistleblower who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against her former employer, Pentec Health Inc., has helped the U.S. government recover $17 million for Medicare and other federal health care programs. Jean Brasher filed the whistleblower lawsuit in October 2013 accusing Pennsylvania-based Penter Health Inc. of billing Medicare and other government programs for excessive amounts of its renal drug Proplete. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the whistleblower lawsuit alleged that Pentec also routinely waived patient copayments and deductible obligations to incentivize beneficiaries of the government programs to get Proplete prescriptions, even when more affordable options were available. Additionally, ... Read More

U.S. Government Sues Lockheed Martin, Alleging Hanford Nuclear Cleanup Fraud

The notorious Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington has been mired in fraud and corruption for decades, ever since the U.S. government started paying contractors billions of dollars to clean up and convert 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge. On Feb. 8, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it has lodged a False Claims Act lawsuit against Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, alleging the company and its executives used a $232 million support contract for nuclear waste disposal to enrich themselves. According to federal prosecutors, Lockheed Martin engaged in a fraudulent kickback scheme by paying more than $1 million to ... Read More

Georgia Hospital Settles False Claims Act Suit, Agrees to Pay $5 Million

A North Georgia hospital will pay $5 million to settle allegations it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians. Union General Hospital of Blairsville, Georgia, fell under scrutiny when federal authorities detected suspicious activity surrounding the abnormally high quantities of opioid drugs and Xanax being prescribed in connection with the hospital. Investigations by the FBI and other federal agencies led to the arrest of Union General Hospital CEO John Michael Gowder and two physicians — Dr. David Gowder and Dr. James Heaton. The three men now face federal charges of illegally prescribing thousands ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Recover $8.1 Million from California Hospital Group

A whistleblower lawsuit accusing a Los Angeles-based hospital group of engaging in unlawful financial arrangements has led to an $8.1 million settlement with the U.S. Government. Avanti Hospitals LLC and six of its owners agreed to pay the U.S. $8.1 million to settle whistleblower allegations that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Physician Self-Referral Law (also known as the Stark Law), and the False Claims Act. The lawsuit, filed by Dr. Joshua Luke, the former CEO of Gardena Hospital, alleged that Avanti, Gardena Hospital, and at least two other Avanti affiliates bribed a high-referring physician with payments that exceeded the ... Read More

Walgreens Settles Two Whistleblower Lawsuits for $269.2 Million

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the holding company that owns the controlling shares of Walgreens Drug Stores and several other health care companies, will pay $269.2 million to settle two separate whistleblower lawsuits. In one case, Walgreens agreed to pay $209.2 million to settle allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health care programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens that beneficiaries did not need. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Walgreens configured its electronic systems so that its pharmacists couldn’t dispense less than a full box of five insulin pens, ... Read More

Workers sue J&J for overvaluing stocks amid asbestos scandal

Johnson & Johnson employees who trusted the company with their retirement savings by investing in the company’s stock are suing the consumer health care giant. They accuse the company of overvaluing its stocks while hiding the fact that its talcum powder products contained cancer causing asbestos, according to a proposed class action complaint filed in New Jersey federal court, Law360 reported. Lead plaintiff Michael Perrone claims that J&J and some of its senior executives violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by failing to act in the best interest of their retirement plans because they knew for decades that ... Read More

Threat of Soy Wiring Rodent Damage Rises in Winter

Did you know that soy wiring inside automobiles attracts mice and other rodents as a food source, potentially rendering your vehicle inoperable? That’s a message the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) wants motorists to hear, especially in winter time when soy wiring damage caused by rodents becomes more common. “Cars and trucks offer ideal places for refuge for rodents to spend the winter. Once inside, they are insulated from the cold and potential predators, and can easily gain access through vents, steering columns and pedal shafts,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Some automobile brands also ... Read More