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taxpayer 145 articles

Jury Awards LAFD Whistleblower $2.75 Million in Retaliation Case

A Los Angeles Fire Department whistleblower who allegedly faced severe backlash after speaking out against waste and fraud within his station has been awarded $2.75 million by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury. Stephen Meiche, who joined the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1980, said his LAFD colleagues ostracized him and subjected him to differential treatment that diminished not just his peace of mind but threatened his safety, NBC News Los Angeles reported. Mr. Meiche, a certified diver and diver instructor for the LAFD said his troubles started in March 2014 after he complained that members of the dive team ... Read More

Whistleblower: Ohio Cyberschool Manipulated Data to Keep Overpayments

Education officials in Ohio are reviewing a whistleblower’s allegations that a now-defunct online charter school manipulated its attendance numbers so it could hold onto millions of dollars in state overpayments. The Associated Press reports that a former technology officer of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), once the state’s largest online charter school, told Ohio Department of Education regulators that school officials ordered staff to inflate student attendance records with ActivTrak software it started using after the state demanded that it return $60 million in overpayments for the 2015-2016 school year. The whistleblower also stated his concerns about the alleged ... 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

Kmart Settles Whistleblower Drug Pricing Suit For $32.3 Million

Kmart Corporation will pay the United States $32.3 million to settle False Claims Act allegations brought by a whistleblower who alleged the retailer failed to report discounted prescription drug prices to government health care programs, resulting in the U.S. paying more for drugs than it should have. The U.S. Department of Justice said that James Garbe, a pharmacist at a Kmart store in Ohio, sued Kmart in 2008 under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to sue on behalf of the U.S. government in cases of suspected fraud. The whistleblower lawsuit alleged that Kmart ... Read More

Whistleblowers, Taxpayers Lose In Indiana Supreme Court Ruling

There was a huge loss for whistleblowers and taxpayers in Indiana this month. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled against a former state employee who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the state, alleging she was fired for speaking out against the misuse of state tax dollars and a lack of oversight governing how taxpayer money is spent. According to Indianapolis’ CALL 6 Investigates, Suzanne Esserman, a former senior environmental manager who worked for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for 25 years, said she refused to rubber-stamp claims and sought oversight for the Excess Liability Trust Fund Program, a fund ... Read More

Whistleblower Alleges Contractors Stole Work From Veterans

A whistleblower lawsuit has led to a recovery of more than $3 million from three New York construction contractors and their owners that allegedly misled the U.S. government to obtain lucrative contracts for which they were not qualified. According to the whistleblower complaint, Zoldaz Construction Company, Alliance Contracting, Arsenal Contracting of Alden, New York, and owners John Zoldaz and David Lyons secured federal construction contracts reserved for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses. The complaint claims they obtained the contracts by duping the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) into believing they were legitimate candidates for ... Read More

Border Wall Contractor Once Accused of Taxpayer fraud

An Alabama construction company picked by the Trump Administration as one of four firms to work on a Mexico border wall prototype paid more than $3 million to settle a U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation into whether it committed fraud against taxpayers with its work under another government contract in 2012. According to Politico, Caddell Construction Company Inc., a major federal government construction contractor, admitted no wrongdoing in that case of alleged fraud, but it paid $2 million to enter an agreement in which the federal government allowed it to escape prosecution in exchange for unspecified cooperation with the government ... Read More

Massachusetts backs whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicaid fraud

The state of Massachusetts is backing a whistleblower lawsuit against Universal Health Services (UHS), alleging the Pennsylvania-based hospital network submitted false claims to the state’s Medicaid program. The state’s intervention in the case builds on allegations originally brought by the parents of a teenage girl who died in 2009 after having an adverse reaction to medication prescribed to her by an employee of Arbour Counseling Services, a unit of UHS in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The complaint alleges that the Arbour Counseling employee who prescribed the medication to the teen was unqualified to dispense drugs. A subsequent investigation into the complaint found ... Read More

State of Virginia Pays U.S. $7.15 Million To Resolve SNAP fraud allegations

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will pay $7.15 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit that accused it of defrauding the federal government by manipulating data it provided to the U.S. for “food stamp” reimbursements. U.S. authorities, including the USDA Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Justice Department’s Commercial Litigation Branch, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin, filed the False Claims Act suit after a nationwide audit of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) uncovered suspicious activity within VDSS’ processing and administration of SNAP benefits. The U.S. government funds SNAP benefits, but ... Read More

Celgene Urges Judge To Reconsider $40 Billion False Claims Act Case Ruling

Drugmaker Celgene has asked a California federal judge to reconsider his decision to allow most of a $40 billion False Claims Act lawsuit to advance, arguing that a recent Ninth Circuit ruling requires the court to apply standards established by the Supreme Court in the recent Escobar case that the whistleblower cannot satisfy, Law360 reports. In December, U.S. District Judge George H. King, Central District of California, ruled that the bulk of whistleblower Beverly Brown’s False Claims allegations can move forward. Ms. Brown’s lawsuit alleges that the drugmaker promoted its bone cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for unapproved purposes and ... Read More