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fraud 614 articles

SEC Whistleblower Gets Agency’s Highest-Ever Award

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday that one whistleblower who helped regulators with their investigations of securities violations will receive the agency’s highest-ever award of more than $33 million. In addition to the latest award, which exceeds the previous high of $30 million awarded to a whistleblower in 2014, the SEC said that two additional whistleblowers will share an award of nearly $50 million. “These awards demonstrate that whistleblowers can provide the SEC with incredibly significant information that enables us to pursue and remedy serious violations that might otherwise go unnoticed,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Recovers $1 Million From USPS Contractor

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. government recover more than $1 million from a government contractor that provided trucking services to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), federal officials said. Virginia-based Beam Bros. Trucking Inc. and its two principals agreed to pay the U.S. $1,025,000 to resolve allegations brought by a former employee who alleged the company was misusing government-provided fuel cards, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said. Beam Bros. was one of the trucking companies the USPS contracted to transport mail throughout the U.S. Under some contracts with trucking companies, the USPS provides “Voyager Cards,” which allow ... Read More

$1 Billion Whistleblower Case Against Hospice Provider Unsealed

A whistleblower lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest hospice care providers was unsealed last week after the federal government declined to intervene. The lawsuit, filed in 2010 against HCR ManorCare by a former regional director of operations under whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleges the company engaged in a “corporate-wide pattern of conduct that has resulted in the submission of thousands of false claims” and payments of “millions of dollars” to Medicare for patients who were not terminally ill. When a terminally ill Medicare patient enters hospice care, Medicare stops covering traditional medical care designed to improve ... Read More

Hawking Sealed Whistleblower Lawsuits Gets DC Lawyer Prison Sentence

A former U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) lawyer who pleaded guilty to charges related to his stealing and selling copies of whistleblower lawsuits has been sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison. Jeffrey Wertkin, 41, left his Justice Department job in 2016 and joined a prominent Washington D.C. law firm, taking with him copies of 40 whistleblower complaints that were under seal. At the Justice Department, Mr. Wertkin worked in a division that handles civil whistleblower complaints filed under the False Claims Act. The lawsuits, filed by informants who allege fraud against federal programs and agencies, remain under ... Read More

Propelled by Fraud, Opioid Overdose Soars To New Levels

The opioid crisis is on a disturbingly sharp upward trend across the U.S. despite the federal government’s tough talk and costly crackdown efforts, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From July 2016 through September 2017, emergency hospital visits due to opioid overdose rocketed 30 percent overall and 35 percent in the 16 states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, according to the CDC. “We have an emergency on our hands,” said acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat, according to NPR. “The fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic continues and is accelerating.” The U.S. Department of Justice ... Read More

Whistleblower Case Recovers $1.65 Million From Vermont Hospital

A whistleblower complaint filed against a Vermont hospital by one of its former administrators has ended in a $1.65 million settlement. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital agreed to pay the U.S. and the State of Vermont the sum to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Amy Beth Main filed the lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. and Vermont under the whistleblower provisions of the federal and Vermont False Claims Acts. Plaintiff’s counsel told the Brattleboro Reformer that Ms. Main, an administrator in Brattleboro Memorial’s financial services department, “protested internally” ... Read More

Court Reinstates LHC Home Health Nurse’s Whistleblower Case

A nurse who filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against her employer even though she wasn’t demoted, harassed or terminated, can move forward with her case, a federal appeals court ruled. Sue Smith, a former nursing director for Louisiana-based home health care agency LHC Group Inc., filed the whistleblower retaliation lawsuit after she allegedly became aware of a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. Ms. Smith worked at LHC’s home health office in Lexington, Kentucky. According to Business Insurance, Ms. Smith claims employees of the home health office routinely sidestepped federal rules and admitted patients into care without the clinical evaluation ... Read More

IRS: ‘High Alert’ for Tax Scams in Wake of Equifax Data Breach

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is putting taxpayers and tax preparers on “high alert” this year after the Equifax data breach and several other massive hack jobs exposed the sensitive data of millions of U.S. citizens. According to the IRS, taxpayers are being hit this year by scams from all directions, including phone calls, email, texts, and social media messaging. Cybercriminals have devised a variety of schemes to trick tax practitioners and taxpayers into disclosing information that could be used for theft. “Numerous data breaches last year mean the entire tax preparation community must be on high alert this filing season ... Read More

Whistleblower Study Underscores Psychological Impact on Informants

Whistleblowers are often lauded for their efforts in exposing fraud, waste, abuse, corruption, and other wrongdoing, but those heroic efforts can come at a high cost. A recent whistleblower study conducted by Dutch researchers and published in the U.S. journal Psychological Reports assesses some of the material and psychological tolls whistleblowers typically experience when they stand up to illegal and unethical activity. The study concluded that whistleblowers need to be better protected from retaliation and other negative fallout when society benefits so much from their actions. According to the empirical study, conducted by researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, ... Read More

Deutsche Bank Whistleblowers Eligible for CFTC Award

Whistleblowers who assisted the U.S. government in prosecuting a scheme within Deutsche Bank to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts are entitled to share in a $30 million penalty the German bank has agreed to pay. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said that certain Deutsche Bank precious metals traders engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price of precious metals futures by spoofing—an illegal and deceptive trading practice of “bidding or offering with intent to cancel before execution,” according to the Dodd-Frank Act. According to the CFTC, the Deutsche Bank traders engaged in the spoofing scheme from at ... Read More