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whistleblower 959 articles

U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Revive Trinity Industries Guardrail Case

Trinity Industries will no longer have to fend off a $663.4 million judgment against it after the nation’s top court rejected a whistleblower’s bid to revive a 2014 jury verdict accusing the guardrail manufacturer of defrauding the government. The U.S. Supreme Court Justices declined to hear whistleblower Joshua Harman’s final appeal to leave the dangerous-guardrail judgment intact after it had been tossed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in 2017, according to Reuters. Mr. Harman sued Trinity Industries in 2012 under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging that the Texas-based manufacturer defrauded the ... Read More

U.S. Attorney General Nominee Vows to Uphold False Claims Act

Stepping back from previous criticism of the False Claims Act, William Barr, Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, pledged he would stand by the law that authorizes whistleblowers to sue on behalf of the U.S. government and American taxpayers. Mr. Barr, who served as the attorney general in President George H.W. Bush’s administration from 1991 to 1993, once described the False Claims Act as an “abomination” and displayed an appetite to challenge the law, which he viewed as unconstitutional. In 1989, Mr. Barr wrote that the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act replaced the Judicial Department’s prosecutorial discretion ... Read More

Whistleblowers Say Colorado’s Revenue Dept. Wasting Millions of Taxpayer Dollars

Whistleblowers within the Colorado Department of Revenue say that waste, incompetence, and mismanagement in the agency are costing state taxpayers millions of dollars. The Denver Channel’s Contact 7 says it received a letter in a Colorado Department of Revenue envelope from “Concerned Colorado Department of Revenue Employees, Taxpayers, & Citizens of Colorado.” The whistleblowers pointed to “Climate Surveys” that assess the atmosphere within the agency by compiling anonymous feedback from Tax Division employees. “It is very important you get the results of these surveys … to understand the level of internal strife caused by the incompetence and mismanagement of resources ... Read More

Home Depot Whistleblower Files Retaliation Complaint

A former Home Depot employee is suing the national DIY retailer alleging it fired him in retaliation for calling out illegal hazardous waste dumping practices. James Girsch , 65, of Escondido, California, filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against Home Depot Nov. 29 in San Diego Superior Court. The former Home Depot paint department supervisor says he was one of the whistleblowers who reported that Home Depot centers in California were “routinely and systematically sending hazardous waste to local landfills that were not permitted to receive those wastes, and were tossing documents containing sensitive customer information into store trash bins, potentially ... Read More

SEC Moves To Cap Whistleblower Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will propose to a rule that would slash awards to whistleblowers in some of the biggest cases of securities-law violations – a move that raises concerns such a rule could weaken incentives for individuals to report fraud and other wrongdoing. Currently, whistleblowers who tip off the SEC to securities violations receive between 10 and 30 percent of the total sanctions levied against the violating firm, as long as the sanctions amount to at least $1 million. The Wall Street Journal notes that the narrow majority of awards doled out under the SEC’s whistleblower program ... Read More

Barclays Bank Fined $15 Million for CEO’s Anti-Whistleblower Actions

New York regulators fined Barclays Bank $15 million after investigations on both sides of the Atlantic determined that CEO Jes Staley broke the law by attempting to learn the identity of a bank whistleblower. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced the fine Dec. 18, saying it was tied to Mr. Staley’s attempts to unmask the author of two whistleblower letters criticizing the CEO’s hiring of a longtime associate for the job of head of Barclay’s financial institutions group. According to Bloomberg, Barclays’ whistleblower scandal started in June 2016, when the bank’s board received an anonymous letter from ... Read More

Florida Vascular Surgeon Settles False Claims Allegations for $2.2 Million

A Florida vascular surgeon has agreed to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower who claimed the doctor and his practice billed Medicare and other federal health care programs for vein ablation procedures that “contained false diagnoses and symptoms.” Dr. Irfran Siddiqui, owner of the Heart and Vascular Institute of Florida, will pay the U.S. $2.2 million to resolve the whistleblower lawsuit, the U.S. Attorney’ Office for the Middle District of Florida announced. According to the complaint, Dr. Siddiqui and his Davenport-based practice submitted false claims to Medicare and TRICARE from Jan. 2, 2011, to June 30, ... Read More

Whistleblower Case Recovers $14.5 Million From Finance of America Mortgage

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. recover $14.5 million in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance funds from Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, which Finance of America Mortgage LLC acquired in 2015. Debra McGeehan, a former quality control underwriter for Gateway, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. She alleges that Gateway knowingly originated and underwrote mortgage loans that did not qualify for FHA insurance. When borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, FHA (i.e. U.S. taxpayers) got stuck with the bill. Gateway participated as a direct endorsement lender (DEL) ... Read More

New York Law Firm Pays U.S. $6.1 Million to Settle False Claims Case

A New York law firm specializing in mortgage foreclosures has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $6 million to settle allegations that it caused the submission of false claims to Fannie Mae with inflated service expenses. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the agreement, saying that Rosicki Rosicki & Associates and its wholly owned affiliates, Enterprise Process Service and Paramount Land, “systematically generated false and inflated bills for foreclosure-related and eviction-related expenses,” and then caused the submission of those expenses to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae approved Rosicki to perform legal work in connection with ... Read More

Whistleblower Tips off Coast Guard to Ship’s Illegal Oil Dumping

Federal prosecutors said a whistleblower slipped a thumb drive containing videos showing a ship illegally dumping oil waste to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors, leading to a criminal conviction and a civil fine of $2 million for a Greek shipping company. According to a U.S. Department of Justice announcement, on Dec. 7, 2017, the Coast Guard boarded the Nave Cielo, a 750-foot-long oil tanker owned by Navimax of Piraeus, Greece. Prior to a formal inspection of the vessel near Delaware City, Delaware, a crewmember whistleblower gave the Coast Guard officers the thumb drive, which contained two videos depicting a high-volume discharge of dark-brown ... Read More