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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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The Reverse-False-Claim Provision As A Tool For Collecting Judgment Debts Owed To The Federal Government

By Lorenzo Cellini, Associate While the False Claims Act (FCA) prohibits the making of false statements to obtain money or property from the Government, one portion of the statute, commonly referred to as the “reversefalse-claim” provision of the FCA does the opposite: it renders unlawful the use of a false statement or record to avoid […]

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D.C. Circuit Recognizes Right Of Qui Tam Relator To Object To Government’s Settlement With Defendant

By Andrea Gold, Associate Who controls the settlement of False Claims Act cases – the Government, the whistleblower (or “Relator” as whistleblowers are called under that Act), or the court? To date, no clear consensus has yet developed among the federal courts on this important issue. To be sure, the Relator brings suit on behalf […]

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Contractor Fraud In Iraq And Afghanistan

By Jeffrey Kaliel, Associate While U.S. involvement in the Iraq war has wound down, the government continues to spend billions of dollars annually on reconstruction and aid efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The government has relied heavily on contractors to participate in—and in many cases, lead— nearly every aspect of the wars and their aftermath. […]

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Landmark Ruling Holds That Employer’s Retaliation Against Whistleblower Can Give Rise To RICO Claim

By Andrea Gold, Associate On December 15, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a landmark opinion in DeGuelle v. Camilli, Appeal No. 10-2172, holding that a company’s retaliatory actions against a whistleblower gave rise to liability under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). In coming to this […]

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Blowing The Whistle On Fraud In The Banking Industry

By Jonathan Tycko, Partner The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act are well-known, and the recently-enacted SEC and IRS whistleblower laws have received widespread publicity. But another similar law has seen little use, despite being on the books for more than 20 years, and despite applying broadly to a sector of the economy—the […]

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Top 10 Settlements Of 2011

Quest Diagnostics agreed to pay $241 million to settle a case brought under the California False Claims Act that alleged that the company overbilled California’s Medicaid program for diagnostic and testing services. The lawsuit was filed by whistleblowers Chris Riedel and his company Hunter Laboratories, a Quest competitor that was placed at a disadvantage due […]

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