March 19, 2018 - Posts

Whistleblower Roundup – March 19, 2018

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


trucking false claims act whistleblower

Beam Bros. Trucking Inc. and Its Principals Agree to Settle Civil False Claims Act Allegations

Virginia trucking company Beam Bros. Trucking Inc. (BBT), and its principals Gerald Beam and Garland Beam, have settled a False Claims Act case filed against them for $1,025,000, the Department of Justice announced. The settlement resolves allegations that BBT violated the False Claims Act by overcharging the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on contracts to transport mail. The whistleblower who filed the case, a former employee of BBT, alleges that BBT used fuel cards provided by USPS for non-USPS related deliveries, which resulted in USPS being overcharged.


Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Charged with $700M Fraud

The SEC announced that Theranos, together with its CEO and founder, Elizabeth Holmes, have agreed to settle claims that they bilked investors out more than $700 million through an elaborate fraud. According to the SEC, Holmes, Theranos, and former president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani engaged in “years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance.”  Specifically, Theranos lead investors to believe that its portable blood analyzer could conduct a wide variety of blood tests with only a few drops of blood from the finger, when in reality the majority of their tests were completed using modified blood testing equipment from other companies.  Holmes has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and return 18.9 million Theranos shares to the company.  That settlement must still be approved by a federal court.  No settlement has been reached with former president Balwani, and the SEC’s claims against him remain pending. CNN Money


Japanese Fiber Manufacturer to Pay $66 Million for Alleged False Claims Related to Defective Bullet Proof Vests

The Department of Justice announced that Japanese Fiber Manufacturer Toyobo Co. Ltd. of Japan and its American subsidiary, Toyobo U.S.A. Inc., f/k/a Toyobo America Inc. (collectively, Toyobo), have agreed to pay $66 million to settle a False Claims Act case against them. The case alleges that Toyobo knowingly marketed Zylon fiber as suitable for bulletproof vests, even though they knew that the fiber degraded quickly in normal heat and humidity, making the fiber unfit to reliably stop bullets. The whistleblower who filed the lawsuit, a former employee of a company that recalled some of its Zylon-containing vests, will receive $5,775,000 from the settlement.


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