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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ObamaCare Processing Center Whistleblower Says Workers Being Paid to Stare at Computer Screens

A whistleblower alleges that employees at a Wentzville, Missouri ObamaCare processing center are being paid to sit at their computers.

The processing center is operated by Serco, which is owned by a British firm that was awarded a $1.2 billion contract that included the hiring of 1,500 workers to handle paper applications for ObamaCare enrollees, according to The Washington Post. “Their goals are set to process two applications per month and some people are not even able to do that,” a whistleblower told KMOV-TV.

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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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Investigation of Long Island Nursing Home Death Leads to Nine Arrests

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The investigation into the death of a Long Island nursing home resident by the state attorney general has led to a total of nine arrests. According to Eyewitness News, one of the nine is being charged with criminally negligent homicide. Prosecutors say that a 72-year old woman died in October 2012 when staff members failed to respond to ventilator alarms for two hours at Medford Multicare Center.

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Medtronic Makes 40 Job Cuts in Minnesota

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Forty Medtronic employees will be losing their jobs, the company has disclosed. According to Minnepolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Medtronic has not given many details about the job cuts. Some jobs being eliminated are in Fridley, where the headquarters for its corporate functions and neuromodulation business is located. Employees are also being laid off in Mounds View, the location of Medtronic’s cardiac rhythm disease management and structural heart division. It is unclear whether the employees have already been laid off or if the job cuts are pending. The company disclosed the job cuts to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in April and the agency recently made this information known in an update to its Dislocated Worker Program report.

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Medtronic Settles Whistleblower Claims for $2.8M

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Medtronic will pay $2.8 million to settle allegations that the company improperly solicited Medicaid patients over insulin infusion pumps. Legal Newsline reports that on Monday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced that her office jointed the multi-state and federal settlement; 36 states were involved in the settlement.

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AmeriGas, Blue Rhino Violated Anti-Trust Laws, Lawsuit Alleges

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AmeriGas Partners LP and Ferrellgas LP, the parent of Blue Rhino are being sued by direct propane buyers who allege that the companies violated anti-trust laws by conspiring to raise the price of propane in exchangeable steel tanks. The two companies, who control 80 percent of the propane market, allegedly schemed to raise prices by 13 percent.

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KBR Whistleblower Lawsuit to be Weighed by Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court will consider the fate of a whistleblower lawsuit filed against defense contracting giant KBR Inc. alleging that the company billed the government for work they did not do in Iraq. The case is KBR v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-1497.

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