As reported by Law.com (subscription), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has given a $450,000 whistleblower award to a worker who had compliance-related job functions at an undisclosed company. This is the third time in eight years that an award has gone to an individual with compliance or internal audit duties at a company found to be engaged in fraud. [Read more…]
As reported by USA Today, there is a growing concern across the U.S. over the apparent surge in dangerous and highly expensive medications being pushed on the public by drug manufactures whose main concern is not turning a new corner in patient health but rather turning over millions in profits. [Read more…]
On September 18, 2018, Lieff Cabraser and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sued AbbVie, Inc. for violations of the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) by providing kickbacks to healthcare providers throughout California relating to sale of the immunosuppressive drug Humira. Defendant AbbVie removed the case to federal court, arguing that the State of California should be disregarded as a nominal for jurisdictional purposes. [Read more…]
Joint Complaint Filed Under the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act
On September 18, 2018, Lieff Cabraser and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sued AbbVie, Inc. for violations of the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) by providing kickbacks to healthcare providers throughout California relating to sale of the immunosuppressive drug Humira. Humira, used to treat arthritis, colitis, and other diseases, is a widely-prescribed drug that led the list of top-selling pharmaceutical products until its 2016 U.S. patent expiration, having global sales of $16 billion in 2016 alone. [Read more…]
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.”
Whistleblowers continue to play a key role in ending fraudulent practices throughout the United States. A recent survey published by the National Whistleblower Center and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 43% of corporate fraud was uncovered by whistleblowing related activities. When government funds are involved, whistleblowers play a critical role in protecting taxpayers. And, as the survey noted, the companies themselves are also better off in the long run by rooting out these bad practices.
Abuses by private correctional service contractors of non-violent probationers is a growing problem, according to numerous media reports. These probationers have typically committed low-level offenses, such as failing to pay traffic tickets, driving without proof of insurance, shoplifting, or public drunkenness.
Hospice care is intended to be a holistic way for terminally ill people to end their lives in a dignified manner in the comfort of their own homes. For many years, small nonprofit organizations were the main providers for this type of healthcare. More recently, hospice care has become a multimillion dollar industry dominated by large for-profit corporations.
I’m Robert Nelson, the chair of Lieff Cabraser’s Whistleblower law practice group. I’ve published two new videos relating to whistleblower law. The topics include guidance for individuals seeking a whistleblower case lawyer, as well as a general overview of whistleblower law and how whistleblower plaintiff cases are managed and advanced.