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criminal 188 articles

Whistleblower Gets $1 Million For Exposing Princess Cruise Oil Dumping

A whistleblower who reported illegal oil waste dumping from a Princess Cruise Lines ship that eventually exposed widespread oil dumping among other Princess ships received a $1 million award April 19. U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz in Miami, who imposed a record $40 million criminal penalty on Princess and its parent company Carnival Corporation, awarded the $1 million payout to a British engineer who documented the Caribbean Princess using a “magic pipe” to illegally discharge oily wastewater off the coast of England in August 2013. Evidence provided by the newly hired ship engineer prompted inspections of the ship both in ... Read More

Judge Orders PG&E To Public Service, Shaming For Deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion

A federal judge has ordered California’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), to spend about $3 million on television and newspaper advertisements to inform the public it had been found guilty of violating natural gas pipeline safety regulations, which led to a catastrophic subterranean pipeline explosion in San Bruno. The penalty is part of a larger criminal sentencing that has sparked some controversy among critics. In addition to the “public shaming ads” and a maximum $3-million penalty, PG&E executives must also perform 2,000 hours of community service and the company as a whole must perform an additional 8,000 ... Read More

WSJ: Takata Nearing $1 Billion Settlement To Settle Criminal Allegations Over Airbag Failures

Japanese automotive supplier Takata Corp. is reportedly nearing a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. government that, if approved, would resolve allegations of criminal wrongdoing in its handling of airbags that are prone to explode with deadly force, the Wall Street Journal reported. Citing anonymous sources familiar with the discussion, the Wall Street Journal says that a settlement could come as early as January and range in the high hundreds of millions of dollars to $1 billion. There is also talk of Takata pleading guilty to criminal misconduct as part of the settlement, WSJ’s sources said. The settlement stems from ... Read More

GM announces more safety recalls over weekend, 57,000 vehicles affected

General Motors (GM) announced two more safety recalls over the weekend affecting more than 57,000 vehicles in the United States for problems involving overheating fuel pumps, loose electrical connections, and yet more potentially deadly ignition switch defects. The new recalls came just one day after the Detroit automaker recalled more than half a million cars and SUVs for loose joint and hood latch defects. On Saturday, GM said that it’s recalling about 47,000 2008-09 Pontiac G8 cars and about 7,600 model-year 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice police cars because drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee, inadvertently switching the key ... Read More

Preparation is key to a successful whistleblower case

Fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and other forms of wrongdoing are all too common in both the private and public sectors of society these days – an unfortunate fact that elevates the role of the whistleblower in the fight against misconduct and corruption. With lawyers seeing more and more potential whistleblower cases pour in, it’s vital that whistleblowers properly document and state their case before taking it to a lawyer for review. After whistleblowers select experienced and competent legal counsel for their False Claims Act case, they should prepare a concise and well documented “pitch.” The Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Education Fund ... Read More

GM launching two new safety recalls of more than half a million cars, SUVs

General Motors (GM) announced two new safety recalls on Friday for loose joints and a hood latch problem that together affect more than 524,000 cars and SUVs. The first recall encompasses 430,550 Cadillac SRX and Saab 9-4X SUVs for possible loose joints and worn threads in the rear toe link assembly, which could cause the toe adjuster link to separate and in turn cause the vehicle to veer off the intended course at highway speeds and potentially crash. GM said it knows of three crashes and two injuries linked to the rear toe link defect. The recall affects 2010-2015 model-year ... Read More

Judge tosses whistleblower allegations against medical device maker

A Massachusetts federal judge rejected a whistleblower’s lawsuit Tuesday against Ireland-based Covidien’s subsidiary ev3 inc., accusing the company of promoting a blood-blocking surgical device for off-label purposes and other misconduct. Former ev3 salesman Jeffrey D’Agostino filed the lawsuit under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act against ev3, executive salesman Brett Wall, and Vice President of Sales and Global Marketing John Hardin. Mr. D’Agostino sued on behalf of the U.S. government and 26 states. U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns rejected Mr. D’Agostino’s lawsuit citing weak allegations and insufficient evidence. The lawsuit accuses ev3 of submitting false ... Read More

CVS Caremark to pay $6 million to settle whistleblower allegations of Medicaid false claims

Caremark LLC, a pharmacy benefit management giant operated by CVS Caremark Corporation, will pay the U.S. $6 million to settle allegations brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that the company knowingly defrauded federal and state Medicaid programs by failing to reimburse the taxpayer-funded programs for drug expenses that should have been paid by the private insurer. Individuals who are covered by both Medicaid and a private health plan are classified as “dual eligible.” U.S. law mandates that the private insurer, rather than taxpayer-funded government programs, must assume the costs of health care for dual eligible beneficiaries. Should Medicaid erroneously ... Read More

General Motors ignition switch death toll rises to 23

The number of deaths linked to the ignition switch defect in more than a decade of General Motors (GM) vehicles continues to climb, with the latest toll hitting 23, according to a report by Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing a fund established to compensate crash victims and their families. After it finally began recalling vehicles affected by the potentially deadly ignition flaw last February, GM said that it had linked the defect to 13 deaths and 54 crashes. Underscoring the seriousness of the problem, safety advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers, however, said the real toll was likely to be much higher. ... Read More

Shire settles whistleblower allegations of improper drug marketing for $56.5 million

Shire Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay the U.S. $56.5 million to settle two whistleblower lawsuits filed by former employees of the company who alleged the company illegally marketed several drugs for unapproved, off-label purposes and then billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs for them. Dublin, Ireland-based Shire operates in the U.S. out of its facility in Wayne, Penn. The company makes and markets Adderall XR, Vyvanse, and Daytrana, which are approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Pentasa and Lialda, which are approved for the treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. The ... Read More