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Court Upholds Doctor’s Health Care Fraud Conviction For Performing Medically Unnecessary Procedures

A federal appellate court recently upheld the conviction of a Maryland cardiologist who was charged with health care fraud for performing coronary stent procedures-the insertion of small tubes, known as stents, in coronary arteries-when the procedures were not medically necessary. The opinion, United States v. McLean, 715 F.3d 129 (4th Cir. 2013), clarifies when a […]

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The False Claims Act During Times of War: Is There Any Time Limit For Bringing Suit?

A federal appellate court recently ruled that, at least for the moment, claims under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) are not subject to any statute of limitations. The United States Circuit Court for the Fourth Circuit, in U.S. ex rel. Carter v. Halliburton Co., 710 F.3d 171 (4th Cir. 2013), relied on an obscure federal […]

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FIRREA and FIAFEA: A Novel Approach To Protecting Financial Institutions From Themselves

In a matter of first impression, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”) not only prohibits fraud perpetrated by a third party that harms a financial institution, but also renders unlawful fraudulent conduct committed […]

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Top 10 Whistleblower Settlements of 2012

In 2012, the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, as well as the largest payment ever by a drug company, was announced. Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline agreed to a $3 billion settlement to resolve both criminal and civil allegations surrounding its promotion of prescription drugs, its failure to report safety data about some of its drugs, and its false drug reporting practices.

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The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group: What Is It? What Does It Do? What Has It Done?

On January 27, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the creation of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group. The Working Group is part of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established in 2009 as an interagency effort to strengthen the Government’s ability to combat financial crime. The Working Group is intended to bring together the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and other federal agencies to investigate misconduct that contributed to the 2007-2008 financial crisis through the packaging and sale of RMBS.

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Underbidding By Government Contractors Can Give Rise To Whistleblower Lawsuits Under The False Claims Act

In a groundbreaking case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided Hooper v. Lockheed Martin Corp. on August 2, 2012, reversing the lower court and holding that cost estimates submitted by government contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (“Lockheed”) could be “false claims” for purposes of the federal False Claims Act.

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Using Qui Tam Lawsuits To Expose Mistreatment And Fraud By Prison Contactors

The Pew Center on the States has estimated that 1 in 100 Americans is in prison. Thousands more immigrants are in civil detention. That means big business for private security contractors, as federal and state governments increasingly rely on private prison companies to detain those accused or convicted of crimes. And the federal government also uses an extensive network of privately-run detention facilities for immigration enforcement purposes. Frequent complaints regarding the treatment of detainees at privately-run facilities raise serious questions about potential violations of detainees’ civil liberties, and may also give rise to claims under the federal False Claims Act or its state counterparts.

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Blowing The Whistle On Water Polluters

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April, 2010 was the largest in U.S. history, releasing over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In November, 2012, BP announced that it would plead guilty to 14 criminal charges and $1.25 billion in fines. Preceding the BP disaster, Exxon Valdez emptied approximately 11 million gallons of oil off the coast of Alaska, resulting in a $150 million fine, the largest ever at that time for an environmental crime. But what many people do not realize is that intentional dumping of oil and other pollutants is just as problematic as the highly publicized oil spills, like BP and Exxon Valdez, that captivate our nation’s attention. With roughly 88,000 commercial vessels operating worldwide, ocean shipping accounts for approximately half of all marine pollution. Some have estimated, for example, that illegal dumping of sludge and oily bilge water, residue generated by a ship’s engine, annually results in as much as eight times the amount of pollution generated by the Exxon Valdez spill.

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