In the second largest whistleblower payout ever, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is paying $22 million to a former Monsanto Co. executive, a corporate insider who provided a “detailed tip and extensive assistance” in stopping illicit, fraudulent activity relating to the company’s reported sales of Roundup, reported Bloomberg and other journals. [Read more…]
According to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis, the U.S. government may soon award the largest whistleblower payout in history – up to $100 million total – after three former bank employees alerted authorities to alleged mistreatment of foreign-currency-trading clients by State Street Corp. and the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. [Read more…]
In an important and unanimous opinion in Universal Health Services, Inc. V. United States et al. Ex Rel. Escobar et al., the Supreme Court has upheld the “implied certification” theory of federal False Claims Act (FCA) liability. Thus, liability under the FCA does not require that a defendant certified compliance with a law or rule that is an express condition of payment from a government program. [Read more…]
Defrauded students would have their loans forgiven; new rules would also bar mandatory arbitration clauses
In what could lead to a stunning victory for students defrauded by mercernary and predatory “for-profit” colleges, the U.S. Department of Education has released proposed rules that would forgive student loans in situations where colleges committed fraud and other misconduct. There has been a wave of lawsuits and judgments recently where so-called “fraudster colleges” are beginning to be held accountable for their improper and illegal conduct in forcing sudents into crippling student loan debt, often via deceptive manipulations, outrageous missed-class and missed-exam fees, and false promises of post-graduate employment success via wildly distorted alumni job rates. [Read more…]
$820 million to affected students, $350 million in civil penalties
MarketWatch reports that a California judge has ordered the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges for-profit college chain to pay over $1 billion against claims the company misled investors and students. Unfortunately, as the journal notes, former students will probably not see any of that money, as the company filed for bankruptcy last year and declared its total assets were less than $20 million. [Read more…]
Lieff Cabraser partner Rachel Geman will be speaking in a live webcast on January 13, 2016 titled “Latest Trends and Developments in Qui Tam Lawsuits and the Statute of Limitations.” Other featured event panelists include Kayla Stachniak Kaplan and Jennifer Wollenberg (Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP), Robert Sadowski (Sadowski Katz LLP), and Ian Samson (Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack). [Read more…]
As reported by the Huffington Post, federal and state prosecutors are preparing to announce a substantial settlement with Education Management Corporation, one of the nation’s largest for-profit college chains, that will resolve allegations the company defrauded taxpayers out of $11 billion. [Read more…]
In a roundtable discussion published in this month’s edition of California Lawyer magazine, Lieff Cabraser attorney Lexi Hazam reviews the latest developments in whistleblower law, including how the law is evolving in cases where the whistleblower must pursue the action without the assistance of the federal government.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate approved and sent to the House of Representatives the Thune-Nelson Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act. The bill offers individuals a substantial monetary incentive for whistleblowers in the automotive industry to report safety problems and vehicle defects that could lead to serious injuries or death. Whistleblowers could receive up to 30 percent of any monetary penalty over $1 million imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation or U.S. Department of Justice for misconduct.
The same week five mega banks agreed to pay more than $5 billion to settle criminal charges that they manipulated interest or currency exchange rates, the Washington Post reports that a study has been released highlighting that “despite all the talk about cultural reform, plenty of Wall Street workers say they still witness wrongdoing at their firms.”