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Moving services company settles whistleblower allegations with U.S.

A Virginia-based moving management company has agreed to pay the U.S. government nearly $510,000 to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that it overbilled the government for moving services it provided to federal employees being relocated. RE/MAX Allegiance Relocation Services was sued under the federal False Claims Act by Michael Angel, a former employee. Mr. Angel filed his lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria, Va., alleging the company charged the government for moving services that it never provided and overbilled federal agencies by adding inapplicable tariff charges. RE/MAX Allegiance contracts with the U.S. government to move the personal property of federal employees ... Read More

U.S. paying legal fees of corporations in Hanford whistleblower case, senator wants to know why

Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz demanding to know why the federal government has paid at least $3.5 million in legal expenses on behalf of private contractors fighting the claims of two whistleblowers who allege the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State is riddled with serious safety hazards. Senator McCaskill, head of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, is investigating the claims of Walter Tamosaitis and Donna Busche, two longtime Hanford employees who claim they were fired in retaliation for reporting serious and widespread safety threats at the site. Hanford is the ... Read More

Whistleblowers allege Florida prison officials tortured, killed inmates

Four investigators from the Florida Department of Corrections have filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the state in a Florida federal court, accusing it of allowing, and in some cases officially sanctioning, horrific brutality, gang violence, drug and contraband smuggling, sexual favors, and other forms of corruption within the Dade Correctional Institution and other state prisons. The four whistleblowers also accuse the state of retaliating against them for attempting to expose the wrongdoing. Whistleblower Aubrey Land investigated the death of Randall Jordan-Aparo, a 27-year-old inmate at Franklin Correctional Institution who was serving an 18-month sentence for credit card fraud and drug ... Read More

New bill restores important whistleblower protections to intelligence workers

A bill that creates enforceable whistleblower rights and protections within the nation’s intelligence community has been passed by Congress. Hailed by whistleblower advocates such as the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the bill was signed into law by President Obama. According to GAP, Title VI of the Intelligence Authorization Act will restore important intelligence whistleblower protections that had been stripped from the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. Once signed into law, the bill will offer intelligence community workers better opportunities to report wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. “This legislation is the first step toward a safe alternative to leaks for ... Read More

Nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy provider settles whistleblower lawsuit for $124.24 million

Omnicare Inc., the country’s largest provider of prescription drugs and pharmacy services to nursing homes, has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $124 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it defrauded federal and state Medicare and Medicaid programs through false billings and engaged in illegal kickback schemes. The latest settlement marks the third time in one year that the Cincinnati-based corporation has agreed to settle whistleblower allegations brought against it under the federal False Claims Act, which contains provisions allowing individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government when they have good, original evidence of wrongdoing. Additionally, Omnicare ... Read More

Navy vet says Trader Joe’s fired him for reporting safety hazards, files whistleblower lawsuit

NEWARK, N.J. – A Navy Veteran who says his employer, a Trader Joe’s store in Westwood, N.J., fired him for reporting dangerous and unsanitary conditions, has fired a whistleblower lawsuit against the company. Joe Meyers, 57, says in his lawsuit that Trader Joe’s violated the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act when it fired him after he complained of several health and safety violations at the grocery chain. The act is designed to protect workers from retaliation when they blow the whistle on unsafe work practices and conditions, fraud, and other wrongdoing. The complaint, filed July 2 in federal court ... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court to review whistleblower lawsuit against KBR, Halliburton

The U.S. Supreme Court said that it will review a whistleblower lawsuit against KBR Inc. (Kellogg, Brown and Root) and Halliburton Co. alleging the corporations overbilled the U.S. government for work they performed on water-purification projects at two camps in Iraq. The Justices said on Tuesday that they will consider whether the lawsuit, filed by former KBR employee Benjamin Carter under the federal False Claims Act, should move forward. KBR, a global engineering and construction firm, has appealed the decision of a lower court reinstating Mr. Carter’s whistleblower lawsuit. According to the Associated Press, a federal judge had tossed the ... Read More

Leon County, Florida, school system facing multiple whistleblower complaints

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A former executive secretary of the Leon County, Florida School System has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the School Board, alleging it forced her to retire in retaliation for reporting inappropriate construction bid awards, misuse of school funds and property, and other misconduct. The lawsuit is the fourth such whistleblower lawsuit filed by school district employees against the School Board. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Patricia Nichols filed her whistleblower lawsuit May 30 in Leon County Circuit Court, making several accusations that, together with the complaints of other school district whistleblowers, paint a picture of widespread corruption ... Read More

Celgene’s bid to have whistleblower case tossed is invalid, U.S. argues

The U.S. government threw its support behind a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act against drugmaker Celgene Corp. after the defendant asked a California federal court to throw out the complaint. The lawsuit, filed in 2010 by former Celgene sales representative Beverly Brown, alleges the company illegally marketed its cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for off-label uses and then submitted reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid for the prescriptions. Only drugs that are prescribed for purposes approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reimbursable by federal health care programs. Drugs sold for off-label or “unapproved” ... Read More

Kentucky hospital agrees to pay $41 million for allegedly performing unnecessary heart procedures

A Kentucky hospital has agreed to pay the U.S. nearly $41 million to settle allegations that it billed federal and state health care programs millions of dollars for medically unnecessary heart stents and diagnostic catheterizations and for violating anti-kickback laws by rewarding physicians for referrals. The case is likely the largest ever in the U.S. involving fraudulent claims for unneeded heart procedures. King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., part of the Ashland Hospital Corp., will pay $40.9 million to resolve the allegations, the U.S. Justice Department said. The U.S. alleged that King’s Daughters Medical Center billed Medicare and Kentucky’s ... Read More