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Is Equifax Lying About its Executives’ Share Sell-off?

data-breach

Just days after Equifax discovered its databases had been accessed by hackers, its chief financial officer and two other top executives unloaded company shares worth about $1.8 million combined. Equifax discovered the data breach July 29, about six weeks after hackers broke into the company’s website and started harvesting the personal and financial information of about 143 million U.S. adults. Hackers obtained sensitive consumer information, including names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. Additionally, the credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers were stolen and the personal information used in disputes for about 182,000 people was ... Read More

TBI Study: Breakthrough Findings Could Help Treatment

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University of Maryland researchers have identified an inflammatory process the brain undergoes in response to an injury that could better our understanding of how neurodegenerative diseases develop and potentially lead to better treatment of traumatic brain injuries. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, found that levels of microparticles released from the brain’s immune cells, or microglia, soar in both the blood and brain following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion or severe blow to the head. In tests, researchers found these microparticles promoted inflammation and activated normal immune cells, making them potentially toxic to brain ... Read More

Whistleblower Case against Gilead Sciences Revived

HIV AIDS

A whistleblower lawsuit against drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. alleging the company misled federal drug regulators into approving adulterated HIV drugs has been revived by a federal appeals court. The Recorder reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling reverses a California Court’s dismissal of the case. The appellate court said in its opinion that the claims made by whistleblowers Jeff and Sherilyn Campie, both former Gilead employees, are sufficient and satisfy the requirements of a False Claims Act complaint. The Campies accuse Gilead of using synthetics from a manufacturer in China to lower the production costs of its HIV ... Read More

Feds Keep Order Barring Pipeline Construction After Ohio Spill

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Federal energy regulators refused to lift a May 10 order barring Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) from resuming construction on parts of its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline in Ohio until the company addresses recent spills that released millions of gallons of toxic drilling fluids into environmentally sensitive areas. Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation that is building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on May 25 to alter the order prohibiting it from performing further horizontal directional drilling in certain parts of the pipeline’s path. According to Law 360, ETP argued that the stall escalated the ... Read More

Target Recalls Easter Egg Toys Over Life-Threatening Ingestion Risks

Recall - Easter egg toy, Target

Target issued an urgent recall of water-absorbing Hatch & Grow Easter egg toys Thursday over fears the objects could expand inside a child’s body if swallowed and potentially cause life-threatening injuries. The national retailer is recalling about 560,000 units of the toy, which are individually packaged and resemble small colorful Easter eggs, bunnies, chicks, and butterflies. The Chinese-made products were sold in Target stores nationwide between February 2017 and March 2017 for about $1 each. The U.S. Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says the recall also covers similar toys with multiple product names, such as “Easter Grow Toys” and “Hatch Your ... Read More

Another study finds talc increases ovarian cancer risk 20 percent

talc ovarian cancer

As Johnson and Johnson has continued to claim that decades of science backs the safety of its talcum powder products in the face of massive jury verdicts to the contrary, the public has been getting the message about the products’ links to ovarian cancer. Researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Tisch Cancer Institute in Manhattan set out to examine the science that currently exists and formally evaluate the alleged association between talc and ovarian cancer. They performed a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies that have already been done on the subject, 24 case-control studies and three cohort studies. All the studies combined studied ... Read More

BlackRock Pays SEC Penalty For Silencing Whistleblowers With Employee Agreements

SEC Office of the Whistleblower - wikipedia image

Asset management corporation BlackRock Inc. has agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle allegations that it improperly used separation agreements to muzzle exiting employees, forcing them to forfeit their whistleblower rights and protections, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Tuesday. The settlement makes BlackRock the latest in a series of companies that have settled similar allegations with the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower in recent months, ending the practice of silencing would-be whistleblowers by threatening separation agreement arrangements and severance payments. According to the SEC’s order, more than a thousand departing BlackRock employees signed separation agreements containing ... Read More

Shire Pharmaceuticals Pays $350 Million To Settle ‘Landmark’ False Claims Act Suit

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Shire Pharmaceuticals LLC and subsidiaries of the Ireland-based drug maker have entered into a “landmark” settlement with the U.S. government, agreeing to pay $350 million to resolve a series of whistleblower lawsuits alleging the company used kickbacks and unlawful tactics to boost sales of its Dermagraft treatment for diabetic foot ulcers. According to Benjamin Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general and head of the Justice Department’s civil division, the settlement is the largest False Claims Act recovery in the U.S. in a kickback case involving a medical device. Allegations resolved by the settlement were brought in six lawsuits filed under the qui tam, ... Read More

Hy-Vee Recalls Candy Trays Over Potentially Contaminated Chocolate Products

Recall - candy tray, Salmonella, Hy-Vee

The Hy-Vee chain of Midwestern grocery stores is recalling several candy trays it produced under the Hy-Vee brand using chocolate supplied by the Palmer Candy Company, which was recalled earlier in the week due to potential Salmonella contamination. The Hy-Vee recall, announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the company Jan. 12, stems from the use of milk powder produced by Valley Milk Products LLC. The potentially contaminated powdered milk was used by Palmer as an ingredient in a compound chocolate coating for its candy products, which it supplied to grocery, convenience store, and wholesalers nationwide for ... Read More

United Shore Financial Services Resolves Mortgage Fraud Allegations In $48 Million Settlement

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United Shore Financial Services, a Troy, Mich., based mortgage lender, will pay the U.S. government $48 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act, committing mortgage fraud by knowingly originating and underwriting federally insured mortgage loans that did not meet regulatory requirements. The agreement makes United Shore the latest financial institution to reach a settlement with the U.S., putting to rest allegations that it effectively defrauded taxpayers by originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA), even though the loans did not meet requirements for government ... Read More