On April 5, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced that it has awarded $2.2 million to a whistleblower whose initial tip to another federal agency led to an SEC enforcement action. This marks the first instance in which the SEC has awarded a whistleblower for information from a tip that was previously reported to a different federal agency.
U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven dismissed a suit brought against HealthMarkets Inc. ("HealthMarkets" or the "Company") by an anonymous whistleblower ("John Doe" or "Doe") on May 23, 2017, after the federal government declined to intervene and John Doe dropped the suit.
In the wake of the recent U.S. presidential election, lawyers for Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, have revealed that they intend to appeal incoming president Donald Trump to end an ongoing criminal investigation into their client.
A company is obligated to disclose to shareholders anything within its knowledge that could affect its stock price. Failure to do so, could result in potential liability. For example, a class of shareholders filed a securities lawsuit against HCA Holdings Inc. ("HCA") alleging that prior to its $4.3 billion initial public offering ("IPO"), HCA failed to disclose an ongoing internal investigation of unnecessary cardiac procedures after a complaint made by a whistleblower. Schuh v. HCA Holdings, Inc., et al. No. 3:11-cv-01033 (M.D. Tn. 2011).
As discussed in a previous SFMS blog, whistleblowers can be employees, suppliers, contractors, clients, or any individual who becomes aware of illegal activities - including attorneys. Although whistleblowers are often incentivized to come forward with information about legal violations, attorneys should be aware of specific restrictions before blowing the whistle. Recently, New York State Judge Joan A. Madden dismissed a case because the whistleblower, who was an attorney, broke ethics rules.
Medicare is a federally-funded program that "provides subsidized medical insurance for the elderly and certain disabled people." According to 2013 estimates by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security, some 52.3 million Americans currently rely upon Medicare for their primary health and medical needs.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank") is one of many laws that protect consumers from fraudulent acts committed by corporations. In order to increase transparency and expose organizations that engage in illicit activity, Dodd-Frank includes a "whistleblower program" that incentivizes individuals to come forward with information regarding possible securities law violations. If the information is original and leads to a Securities and Exchange Committee ("SEC") enforcement action in which more than $1,000,000 in sanctions is ordered, the SEC is authorized to provide monetary awards between 10 to 30 percent of what it collects to the individual.
Government customers of United Parcel Service Co. (UPS) overpaid the company because it falsified delivery records over a 10-year period, according to a lawsuit UPS recently settled. The whistleblower suit was filed by a former driver and manager for UPS. Now he is expected to receive $3.75 million for bringing the allegedly false claims to the attention of the federal government.
According to a recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit, two health care providers in Indiana put the health of mothers and newborns at risk in a Medicaid fraud scheme that placed the care of low-income, pregnant mothers in the hands of lower-cost midwives rather than doctors. The suit alleges that the health care providers -- IU Health and HealthNet Inc. -- then falsely billed Medicaid for doctor-provided services.
According to current figures from the U.S. Department of Justice, since 2009, legal claims brought under the federal False Claims Act have led to the recovery of more than $23.9 billion. About 63 percent of that -- more than $15.2 billion -- has been recovered from cases involving fraud against health care programs, including Medicaid and Medicare.