February 27, 2018 - Posts

Whistleblower Roundup – February 27, 2018

A look back at the week’s news and developments affecting whistleblowers


Supreme Court: Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection is Narrow

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a long anticipated ruling regarding the scope of protection afforded under the Dodd Frank Act’s retaliation provisions aimed at protecting whistleblowers who report violations of the securities laws.  The ruling narrowed the protection to instances where whistleblowers had provided information directly to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) rather than solely reporting the information internally to the company.  This outcome will surely incentivize would be whistleblowers to go directly to the SEC rather than simply reporting the misconduct internally. There is no requirement that whistleblowers report their information internally. Thus, while limiting retaliation protection in the short run, the long term effects will likely be an increase in SEC reporting.  PBS


JPMorgan Whistleblower to Receive Record $30 Million Award

As reported by Bloomberg, a whistleblower is expected to receive a $30 million reward from the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) for reporting JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s failure to properly disclose that it was steering asset-management customers into investments that would be profitable for the bank. In December 2015, JPMorgan agreed to pay $367 million in sanctions for its conduct, including $100 million to the CFTC and $267 million to the SEC.


Ambulance Provider and Hospital Agree to Pay $1,425,000 to Settle False Claims Allegations

Ambulance provider East Mobile Health Services (“North East”) and Maine Medical Center have agreed to pay the government $1.425 million to settle a False Claims Act case, which alleges that the ambulance provider fraudulently submitted claims for ambulance rides that were not medically necessary. The Department of Justice reports that North East will pay $825,000 to resolve allegations that it improperly billed Medicare for providing ambulance rides for patients it falsely claimed were either “bed-confined” or otherwise medically required transportation. Maine Medical Center, the largest hospital in the state, has also agreed to pay $600,000 to settle claims that its personnel provided North East with statements containing incomplete or inaccurate information about the medical necessity of transporting patients by ambulance, which North East used to bill Medicare.


United States Intervenes in a False Claims Act Case Against Compounding Pharmacy, Private Equity Firm, and Two Pharmacy Executives Alleging Payment of Kickbacks

The United States has intervened a False Claims Act case against Florida pharmacy Diabetic Care Rx LLC d/b/a Patient Care America (PCA) alleging that it paid illegal kickbacks to marketing companies who pushed unnecessary compounded cream and vitamin prescriptions on TRICARE patients, the Department of Justice reports. Claims have also been brought against Riordan, Lewis & Haden Inc., a Los Angeles, California based private equity firm that manages the pharmacy and the private equity fund that owns the pharmacy, as well as two pharmacy executives, Patrick Smith and Matthew Smith. The case was originally filed by a qui tam whistleblower in 2015.


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