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The Whistleblower Blog

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Presented by Hodgson Russ, the Whistleblower Blog is written by a team of lawyers experienced in successfully guiding both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing through the False Claims Act process.

Showing 5 posts from April 2011.

Sharing Agreements Beat First-Relator Fights

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As cases become more complex and multiple allegations arise, it is more and more frequently the case that multiple relators will file complaints in different districts covering, at least for the most part, common subject matter. Rarely, however, in these types of cases, can one make a definitive judgment about whether the allegations overlap, either in whole or in part, are identical, or are distinctly separate. U.S. attorneys want to be able to consolidate cases and use all of the allegations in a single False Claims Act prosecution. So what to do about the relators?

The WikiLeaks Scandal and the Whistleblower Protection Act

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Federal employees may find themselves with greater whistleblower protection, if a new bill passes through Congress. The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011, introduced by a bipartisan group of senators, is aimed at strengthening protection for federal employees who disclose fraud and misconduct. The legislation would protect employees who blow the whistle on “gross waste or mismanagement, fraud, abuse, or illegal activity,” as well as those who disclose censorship of scientific or technical information. It will not protect disclosures of disagreements over policy.

Good News for Tax Whistleblowers in New York State

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As reported in my last blog post, tax whistleblowers and those considering becoming whistleblowers recently got some good news regarding both the IRS whistleblower program and New York’s tax whistleblower False Claims Act.

On the state side, potential whistleblowers should be encouraged by the swift-moving developments in the New York attorney general’s office. 

Topics: Tax Fraud

Good News for Tax Whistleblowers at the Federal Level

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Tax whistleblowers and those considering becoming whistleblowers recently got some good news regarding both the IRS whistleblower program and New York’s tax whistleblower False Claims Act.

On the federal front, news broke late last week that the IRS’s enhanced whistleblower program has finally produced a whistleblower award: $4.5 million paid to an accountant who blew the whistle on a former employer. According to published reports in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, the accountant came forward in 2007 after his employer ignored his repeated complaints that the employer was failing to pay federal taxes. Based on the whistleblower’s complaint, the IRS ultimately recovered approximately $20 million in back taxes and interest from the unidentified company, described in some articles as a large financial firm and a Fortune 500 company, and paid the whistleblower 22 percent of the amount recovered.  

Topics: Tax Fraud

Fraud-Fighting Report Request From Health and Human Services

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On March 24, Senate Finance Committee leaders Orrin Hatch and Max Baucus sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) deputy administrator requesting data, benchmarks, and updates on the number of fraud cases and the amount of money recovered. The letter requested quarterly reports on how resources allocated for fighting waste, fraud, and abuse are being used and on the results. These reports are sought to better use additional resources to support fraud-fighting efforts in an HHS-based complement to False Claims Act enforcement.

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Hodgson Russ is one of only a few major law firms that represents both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing. This unusual perspective means we are exceptionally well positioned to advise whistleblowers about potential claims.

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