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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 Claims Retaliation Ended His National Guard Career

A California National Guard Major who spoke out against wasteful and illegal spending and mismanagement in the Army reserve is fighting to overturn what he alleges were career-killing performance reviews, handed down to him in retaliation for blowing the whistle. Retired Maj. Joseph Lovelace, who was on track to become a lieutenant colonel after his Iraq deployment, spoke to the Sacramento Bee about severely poor conditions at Camp Roberts near Paso Robles, California, an Army outpost where old buildings fell into a state of disrepair and decay, sewage bubbled up through showers, and materials bought to repair the facilities sat ... Read More

More Information revealed following Mahoney’s Auto Mall hazardous waste Indictments

Recently, Mahoney’s Auto Mall and employee Andrew Fuller in Potsdam, New York, were indicted for burying 55-gallon drums full of used oil, containers of used oil filters and tires, totaling 140 gallons of hazardous substances. The hazardous waste was discovered buried on the auto dealership’s property, which led to 12 counts of felony third-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment, and eight counts of misdemeanor fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment. “Failing to properly dispose of hazardous material jeopardizes the health of New Yorkers and the surrounding environment,” Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in his press release. “We will continue to hold ... Read More

Montana Legislators Consider Tougher Whistleblower Protections for State Employees

Two bills proposing better whistleblower protections for public workers who speak out against fraud, waste, and abuse with state agencies passed the Montana House last week. According to the Associated Press, one of the bills would prohibit state agencies and programs from retaliating against a public employee who blows the whistle on misconduct. The other would allow the public employee to file a civil lawsuit against a supervisor who attempts to obstruct the whistleblower’s efforts to communicate “a matter of public concern” with a state legislator. The original version of the bills would have made whistleblower retaliation and obstruction criminal ... Read More

Senators Seek To Expand U.S. Energy Department Whistleblower Protections

Three U.S. Senators introduced legislation Monday that boosts whistleblower protections for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) employees. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. called for expanded whistleblower protections after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report documented a culture of intimidation and retaliation against employees within the DOE. Currently, DOE whistleblower protections are restricted to the disclosure of safety violations only. The proposed bill would add disclosures about waste, fraud, and abuse to the list of protected whistleblower activities within the agency. The bill would also require DOE contractors to pay the legal and administrative costs in ... Read More

Afghanistan police building funded by U.S. “melted” after construction due to substandard materials, poor oversight

A military watchdog commission overseeing reconstruction in Afghanistan has found a building used as a police training center and constructed with U.S. taxpayer dollars has completely disintegrated just four months after being built. According to a report released by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the U.S. government commissioned the construction of the building for a half million dollars. Afghan contractor Qesmatullah Nasrat Construction (QNCC) built the structure in Wardak province southwest of Kabul under the supervision of the U.S Central Command. Shortly after completion, however, the new building started falling apart so severely that it appeared to ... 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

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

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