Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement over Kickbacks Lawsuit

Medtronic made a final payment of $362,000 in the $11.1 million settlement of a lawsuit alleging that the company used illegal kickbacks to influence doctors to use its cardiac rhythm products. According to Mass Device, the whistleblower lawsuit was filed in 2009 by a former business development manager. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the whistleblower will receive approximately $1.7 million.

The lawsuit accused Medtronic of compensating physicians to speak at conferences and developing marking and business plans at no cost. The company even gave them free tickets to sporting events, restaurants and strip clubs, the suit alleges. The whistleblower is a former business development manager, according to Mass Device.

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National Whistleblower Appreciation Day Recognizes Whistleblower Contributions

Last year, by a unanimous resolution, the United States Senate declared July 30, 2013 “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.”

The resolution was unanimous, according to the National Whistleblower Center, which also indicated that it “strongly supports” the move, which it described as historic. All Americans were asked to consider the huge contributions that whistleblowers have made to the country’s democracy and the costs and suffering whistleblowers have withstood.

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Whistleblower Cases Involving Allegations of Omnicare Swapping Scheme Settled for $124 Million

Omnicare, Inc., one of the largest pharmacy providers, has just agreed to a $124 million settlement to resolve whistleblower allegations regarding a swapping scam that involved below cost discounts and Medicare and Medicaid nursing home patients.

In late June, the Department of Justice announced that it settled with Omnicare, Inc. concerning two qui tam whistleblower cases involving allegations over kickbacks from discounts offered to skilled nursing homes for Medicare and Medicaid patients. The scheme was put in place to encourage facilities to choose Omnicare as their pharmacy provider.

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SEC Award: $875 Million to be Split Between Two Whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a whistleblower award of more than $875,000 to be equally split between two whistleblowers who provided tips and assistance to the agency.

The SEC’s whistleblower program was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act and allows for the providing of financial rewards for what the SEC deems to be high-quality, original information that leads to an enforcement action by the SEC. At least $1 million in sanctions must occur, according to Corporate Crime Reporter, and awards to whistleblowers range from 10 to 30 percent of the total money collected. The SEC must protect whistleblower confidentiality and is prohibited from disclosing information that may directly, or indirectly, reveal the whistleblower’s identity.

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Millburn, New Jersey, Ordered to Pay $455,000 to Settle Whistleblower Case

An Essex County jury just ordered Millburn, New Jersey to pay $455,000 to settle whistleblower retaliation claims brought by a former police sergeant.

The former sergeant alleged that township officials had retaliated against him for his having reported that a superior officer failed a firearms test, according to NJ.com. The jurors accepted the whistleblower’s argument that Millburn officials retaliated against him by putting him through a criminal investigation as well as withholding his promotion and removing him from his position as a firearms range master.

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Whistleblower Settlement Reached with the State of Oregon and Former Oregon Corrections Enterprises Head

The State of Oregon just reached a $450,000 settlement with fired Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) head, Rob Killgore. The settlement was reached a few weeks prior to the case going to trial in Marion County Circuit Court.

Killgore will receive $275,000 from the for “emotional distress, loss of reputation and other compensatory damage,” as well as $25,000 in lost wages. The state will also pay his attorney, according to the settlement agreement, The Statesman Journal reported. The agreement also indicates that the state does not admit fault or liability, “in whole or in part” for Killgore’s firing, and also forbids Kilgore from ever applying for, or accepting, any job in the corrections department or the OCE. The settlement puts an end to the litigation between the parties concerning his termination.

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SEC Awards Record $30 Million to Whistleblower

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On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it is awarding over $30 million to a foreign whistleblower, the largest award to date. The payout is more than double the highest previous award since the program began in 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Whistleblower Claims that CDC Covered Up Link between Vaccines and Autism

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A whistleblower claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) manipulated data to cover up a higher rate of autism in African-American boys. The whistleblower caught the attention of Dr. Brian Hooker, who is part of Focus Autism Foundation, an anti-vaccine group.

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Community Health Systems Agrees to Pay $98 million to Settle Whistleblower Claims

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Community Health Systems, Inc., the nation’s largest operator of acute care hospitals, has reached a $98.15 million settlement to resolve seven whistleblower lawsuits alleging that the company submitted false claims to government health care programs. According to the Charlotte Observer, CHS is based in Franklin, Tennessee and is affiliated with 206 hospitals in 29 states.

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DOJ On Board with Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Symantec

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Symantec, a software giant based in California, is facing a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the company overcharged the federal government and some states, The Washington Post reports. Recently, the Department of Justice has decided to join the suit.

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Whistleblower Filed Cases Reach High of 783 in 2013

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A record high of 783 people filed whistleblower lawsuits last year accounting for 89 percent of Department of Justice fraud cases filed in 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Because of qui tam cases, the government will receive high payouts from contractor-fraud lawsuits.

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Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Halifax Health Nears Resolution

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A potential resolution is in the works for a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Halifax Health. According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, the case has cost the publicly supported company over $109 million. Last week, several sealed documents were entered into the court. Attorneys for Halifax did not specify the contents. A special meeting will be held by the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners; the public will be informed about a portion of the meeting to discuss litigation.

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