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Entries from December 2011

7th Circuit Reinstates RICO Whistleblower Lawsuit, Applies Broad Relationship Standard

December 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Tweet The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court decision dismissing whistleblower Michael DeGuelle’s lawsuit against his former employer, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. (SCJ) and members of management.  The Court recounted the facts alleged by DeGuelle that gave rise to the lawsuit: [While working in SCJ’s tax department,]DeGuelle […]

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Tags: Sarbanes-Oxley

U.S. DOL ARB Ends Landmark Year Holding Summary Decision Improper Unless Employer Proves Sarbanes-Oxley Act Does Not Apply

December 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Tweet On December 16, 2011, the United States Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board issued important decision for whistleblowers and their advocates to end a year of landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) decisions by the ARB, including: Vannoy v. Celanese, ARB No. 09-118, ALJ No. 2008-SOX-064 (ARB September 28, 2011) (holding that whistleblower disclosures […]

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Tags: OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program · Sarbanes-Oxley

Michigan Federal Court Rules Severance Agreement Cannot Bar Qui Tam Claim

December 28th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetIn U.S. ex rel. McNulty v. Reddy Ice Holdings, Inc., the United States District court for the Eastern District of Michigan held that a whistleblower’s severance agreement releasing all claims against the employer does not bar qui tam claims where the government was unaware of the underlying fraudulent activity when the severance agreement was signed.  […]

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Tags: False Claims Act

Ranbaxy Laboratories to Pay $500 Million in Settlement with Food and Drug Administration

December 28th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetLast week, India’s largest drug manufacturer, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., announced that it had entered into a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and had set aside a provision of $500 million to cover any liability arising out of a separate investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The consent decree comes after […]

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Tags: Food Safety

SEC Charges GlaxoSmithKline Unit with Defrauding Employees in Low Valuation Stock Buybacks

December 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

TweetLast week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Stiefel Laboratories Inc. (Stiefel Labs), a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer Charles Stiefel with defrauding employees and company shareholders by allegedly making stock buybacks at significantly undervalued prices. The SEC alleges that Stiefel Labs failed to report certain […]

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Tags: SEC Whistleblower

SEC Chairman Says Whistleblower Program Yielding Significant Benefits, Calls Proposed Changes Premature

December 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

TweetAccording to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Schapiro, the SEC’s new whistleblower program is already providing “significant benefits” one year after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a letter sent to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), co-author of Dodd-Frank, SEC Chairman Schapiro argued that recent calls to […]

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Tags: Dodd-Frank Act · Federal Whistleblower Legislation

Tax Court Protects Identity of IRS Whistleblower

December 21st, 2011 · No Comments

Tweet On December 8, 2011, the United States Tax Court issued an opinion in Whistleblower v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue granting an IRS whistleblower’s motion for a protective order permitting the whistleblower to maintain his or her anonymity.  The court stated: We conclude that granting [the whistleblower's] request for anonymity strikes a reasonable balance between [the […]

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Tags: Tax fraud

Department of Justice Recovers Record-Setting $3 Billion in False Claims Act Settlements in 2011

December 21st, 2011 · No Comments

TweetOn Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it collected more than $3 billion in judgments and settlements of fraud cases under the False Claims Act (FCA) for fiscal year 2011. This marks the second consecutive year in which the DOJ exceeded $3 billion in recoveries and brings the total recovered since 2009 to […]

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Tags: False Claims Act · Federal Whistleblower Legislation

Medtronic Pays $23.5M to Settle Kickback Allegations

December 21st, 2011 · No Comments

TweetLast week, Medtronic Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of medical devices, agreed to pay $23.5 million to settle two lawsuits alleging that the company paid kickbacks to doctors in an effort to encourage them to implant Medtronic pacemakers and defibrillators in their patients. The Department of Justice alleged that Medtronic paid physicians between $1000 and […]

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Tags: False Claims Act

Whistleblower Alleges That Contractors Cut Corners at Marlins Stadium

December 20th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetRoy Fastabend, a welder and inspector, alleges that he was fired after reporting that in order to save time and money, a subcontractor cut corners in the construction of the new stadium that will be home to the Florida Marlins.  Fastabend claims to have witnessed  Mike Garcia, a fellow inspector , routinely ignoring engineering specifications […]

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Tags: Retaliation

Study Finds That Three-Quarter of Americans Would Blow the Whistle on Wrongdoing in the Workplace

December 20th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetAccording to a recent study commissioned by Labaton Sucharow LLP, a securities and antitrust law firm, approximately three-quarter of Americans say that they would be willing to report wrongdoing in the workplace, as long as they were protected against retaliation, could remain anonymous, and would receive a monetary reward. The “Ethics and Action Survey,” conducted […]

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Tags: Dodd-Frank Act

New Proposed Rules to Require Drug and Medical Device Companies to Report Payments to Physicians

December 20th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetOn December 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule that would require drug and medical device manufacturers to report their payments to physicians to federal regulators. These rules will implement the “physician payments sunshine” provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rules aim […]

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Tags: False Claims Act

KV Pharmaceutical Reaches Settlement with the Department of Justice for $17 Million

December 15th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetKV Pharmaceutical (KV), the parent company for Ethex Corporation (Ethex), this month agreed to pay $17 million to settle claims that Ethex of violated the False Claims Act when it allegedly reported false information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). According to the complaint filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ethex […]

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Tags: False Claims Act · Federal Whistleblower Legislation · OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program · Whistleblower Protection Act

House Panel to Hold Meetings with Air Force and Office of Special Counsel to Investigate Military Mortuary

December 13th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetThe House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to meet with representatives of the U.S. Air Force and Office of Special Counsel in the next few days to investigate the mishandling of remains at the military mortuary in Dover, Delaware. The committee requested that by December 9th, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta submit a […]

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Tags: Federal Whistleblower Legislation

OSHA Sues Whole Foods for Terminating Whistleblower

December 13th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetLast week, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sued retail food store chain Whole Foods Market for terminating marketing specialist Bridget Hobart in November 2009 because she had reported health concerns to OSHA after a sewer line ruptured in the Whole Foods store in Miami Beach.  The lawsuit follows an OSHA […]

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Tags: OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program · Retaliation

Genentech Pays $20 Million to Settle Off-label Marketing Whistleblower Lawsuit

December 9th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetGenentech agreed to pay $20 million to settle a recent False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit – $5.7 million of which is being paid to whistleblower John Underwood who initiated the lawsuit.  Underwood alleges Genentech pressured its sales representatives to market off-label uses of Rituxan, a drug approved in 1997 to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Pharmaceutical laws […]

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Tags: False Claims Act

OSHA Sues Packaging Manufacturer for Whistleblower Violations

December 9th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetThe U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is suing RockTenn Corporation, a consumer packaging manufacturer based in Norcross, Georgia for allegedly violating whistleblower protection laws at its Fernandina Beach plant.  The lawsuit alleges that an employee at the plant had repeatedly raised serious and credible safety concerns with managers, and that […]

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Tags: OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program · The Employment Law Group, P.C. · Whistleblower Protection Act

The Employment Law Group® Managing Principal R. Scott Oswald Quoted in Medical Practice Compliance Alert Regarding Illegal Medicare Kickbacks

December 6th, 2011 · No Comments

TweetR. Scott Oswald, Managing Principal of The Employment Law Group® law firm, was quoted in Medical Practice Compliance Alert, a biweekly newsletter aimed at assisting physicians with Medicare compliance so they do not run afoul of the Medicare rules and regulations, leading to charges of abuse or even fraud. Responding to questions regarding a whistleblower […]

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Tags: False Claims Act

OSHA Reinstates Heartland Transportation Inc. Whistleblower

December 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

TweetLast week the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Heartland Transportation Inc., a contract mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, violated the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) when it fired a driver for reporting safety hazards. OSHA ordered Heartland to reinstate the driver and […]

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Tags: Surface Transportation Assistance Act

Dodd-Frank Act Co-Author Rep. Barney Frank to Retire after Current Term

December 1st, 2011 · No Comments

TweetThis week Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced that he would not seek a 17th term in office and would retire from the House of Representatives at the end of his current term. Rep. Frank served as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011 and co-authored the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street […]

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Tags: Dodd-Frank Act