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Justice Department 13 articles

Federal government intervenes in whistleblower lawsuit filed against Orbit Medical, Inc.

A False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit against Orbit Medical Inc. and its former executive Jake Kilgore now has the government involved due to the seriousness of what may have taken place. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Orbit Medical, a durable medical equipment supplier based in Utah, allegedly boosted the sales of power wheelchairs and accessories by forging physician prescriptions and supporting documentation. Jake Kilgore, a defendant in the suit, was the former vice president and sales manager at Orbit Medical for the Western region of the United States. “Medical equipment suppliers must bill federal health care programs accurately and ... Read More

Government sues importers of children’s products to stop flow of dangerous toys to U.S.

The U.S. government has taken legal action against four California companies and six individuals in an effort to halt their illegal importation of dangerous children’s products containing lead, phthalates, small parts that pose a hazard to young children, and other potentially deadly defects. The U.S. Justice Department, acting on a request of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), filed an injunction in California federal court against Toys Distribution Inc. (TDI International); S&J Merchandise Inc., BLJ Apparel Inc., and All Season Sales Inc. Individuals named in the injunction are identified as Loan Tuyet Thai, Lan My Lam, Paul Phuong, Cuc T. ... Read More

Target and Neiman Marcus executives explain their data breaches to the Senate Judiciary Committee

John Mulligan, Target Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, started off his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee apologizing for the data breach that has exposed 110 million Target customers’ personal and financial information. “We know this breach has shaken their confidence in Target, and we are determined to work very hard to earn it back,” Mulligan explained to the panel, which was conducting a hearing on the prevention of data breaches and cybercrime. The data breaches of Target and Neiman Marcus were the primary focus of the hearing. The Justice Department alerted the retail giant on the evening ... Read More

Justice Dept urges court to try whistleblower’s lawsuit against Lance Armstrong

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who for years illegally used performance enhancing drugs to give him an edge over competition, says the U.S. Postal Service, his biggest sponsor, should have known about his doping. The dethroned cycling champion is attempting to have a USPS lawsuit against him thrown out by arguing that USPS officials “did nothing” and continued to back him when his Tour de France received widespread media coverage. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department objected to Mr. Armstrong’s assertions, which he presented to the court in July, saying that “the government and the rest of the world” ... Read More

SEC awards whistleblower $14 million for exposing financial fraud

A whistleblower who provided information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that helped federal regulators recover millions of dollars in investor funds was awarded $14 million, the largest award made by the SEC’s whistleblower program to date. SEC officials said that the whistleblower, who wants to remain anonymous in media reports, provided original information and assistance that allowed the agency to investigate a case of financial fraud more quickly than otherwise would have been possible. “Less than six months after receiving the whistleblower’s tip, the SEC was able to bring an enforcement action against the perpetrators and secure ... Read More

Alabama seeks BP oil spill liability trial in July

A trial to determine BP’s share of liability in the 2010 Gulf oil spill has been set for January 14, 2013. The state of Alabama had urged U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to avoid delaying BP’s oil spill liability trial until after a November hearing on the proposed settlement, scheduled for November. BP and a number of plaintiffs involved in the oil spill litigation filed a proposed settlement agreement on April 18, seeking Judge Barbier’s preliminary approval on it. Judge Barbier presided over the oil spill litigation from federal court in New Orleans. In the agreement, BP and the other ... Read More

Feds make first arrest in connection to BP oil spill

Federal authorities have made the first arrest in connection with BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Kurt Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was arrested Tuesday night on two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to destroy evidence relating to the size of the disaster and BP’s efforts to stop the blown-out Macondo well. Mr. Mix worked as a drilling and completions engineer for BP when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the waters about 50 miles south of the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and setting off the largest oil spill in U.S. history. He ... Read More

FDA seeks to shut down Brooklyn food manufacturer for good

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to permanently shut down a Brooklyn, New York-based maker of ready-to-eat deli salads, seafood, and cream cheeses. Food and Drug Administration inspectors say that NY Gourmet Salads Inc. has a history of serious non-compliance with federal food safety standards and the presence of potentially deadly bacteria in its processing facilities and foods. The complaint, which also seeks a permanent injunction against the company’s owner and president Leonard Spada, was filed July 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The Justice Department charges the defendant with violating federal ... Read More

BP explosion exposes antiquated laws and limits

Members of Congress are working to repeal the Death on the High Seas Act of 1920 (commonly referred to as DOSHA), an antiquated law that sets limits on the damages that family members and other dependents can collect in the wake of a deadly offshore incident. The push to repeal the law is being driven by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and other members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who have conducted hearings on BP’s April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers and created an uncontrollable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In the hearings, the wives ... Read More

US launches criminal investigation of BP

The U.S. government has opened a widely anticipated criminal and civil investigation of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The announcement steps up the pressure on the British oil company, which is the fourth largest corporation in the world. “We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” Holder said after meeting with federal and Louisiana prosecutors in New Orleans. The oil spill created by BP’s runaway well threatens to dwarf 1989’s Exxon Valdez spill as the worst in U.S. history, gushing oil at a rate of 12,000 to ... Read More