Whistleblower Law Collaborative Blog and News

On March 26, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced updated results of its expanded criminal and civil enforcement cracking down on COVID-19 fraud.  These efforts resulted in DOJ publicly charging 474 defendants with criminal offenses related to COVID-19 schemes, involving efforts to acquire over $569 million from the U.S. government and other individuals through fraudulent means. DOJ targeted schemes relating to several CARES Act programs which have been a priority for DOJ since…
A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty last week in the country’s first prosecution for CARES Act fraud. As we previously reported, federal authorities charged David Staveley and David Butziger last May with fraudulently seeking pandemic relief loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Specifically, the men allegedly sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans for businesses that they did own or that were not operating. As such, the businesses did not qualify for…
Erica Blachman Hitchings discussed the recently disclosed breach of the federal court system’s electronic filing system with AP News Legal Affairs Reporter, Maryclaire Dale.  The article, Russian hack brings changes, uncertainty to US court system, takes stock of the intrusion’s impact on existing and future cases.  Dale reports that the hackers likely gained access to a wide range of confidential information in sealed documents, “including trade secrets, espionage targets, whistleblower reports and arrest warrants.”…
On February 4, Whistleblower Law Collaborative co-founder Bob Thomas joined an esteemed panel of practitioners to discuss current developments in the prosecution of health care fraud cases at this year’s Boston Bar White Collar Crime Conference.  The event was sponsored by the Boston Bar Association and was available by ZOOM.  The conference website and agenda can be found here. The Health Care Fraud panel was a half-day event, which included later panels on financial…
Last week, DOJ announced the first civil settlement to resolve allegations of fraud against the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The settling defendants are SlideBelts Inc. (a California-based online retailer) and its president/CEO, Brigham Taylor. The defendants have agreed to pay $100,000 in damages and penalties. In addition, SlideBelts has repaid the $350,000 in PPP funds that it fraudulently received. The Paycheck Protection Program The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and
A Maryland-based company has agreed to pay $550,000 to resolve claims that it deceived the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority about hand sanitizer purchased to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office announced the settlement yesterday. Hand Sanitizer Marketed Without Evidence of Its Effectiveness Federal Resources Supply Company marketed “Theraworx Protect” as effective in fighting the coronavirus. It claimed that the product would sanitize and fight off COVID-19 for six hours. However, the…
The Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund 20th Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony is October 28-30, 2020.  As in past years, WLC attorneys will be active participants in the Conference: as proud sponsors, as speakers on important topics, and as (virtual) attendees. As members of TAFEF, we couldn’t be more committed to combatting fraud and incentivizing integrity to protect our public funds and public health. This is especially important as whistleblowers and the False Claims Act and…
Today, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced that it has filed a Complaint in Intervention against CleanSlate Centers and its founder Dr. Amanda Wilson in a False Claims Act case filed by our client. CleanSlate Centers operates a national chain of clinics in Massachusetts and nine other states. These clinics provide medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse, including opioid and alcohol addiction. As described in our Amended Complaint, CleanSlate Centers exploited the national opioid epidemic…
The pharmaceutical company Indivior Solutions agreed to pay a total of $600 million to resolve opioid fraud charges involving the marketing its drug Suboxone.  Indivior’s parent company, Reckitt Benckiser Group, already agreed to pay $1.4 billion for the same fraud.   The $2 billion recovery is the largest-ever resolution in an opioid fraud case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Indivior’s Outrageous Conduct Even by the standards of big pharma fraud, this case stands out. …
After a decade of teaching the popular Health Care Fraud and Abuse seminar at Boston University Law School, Whistleblower Law Collaborative LLC (“WLC”) Co-Founder Bob Thomas has started an additional seminar this fall, called Whistleblower Law and Practice.  Due to the pandemic, the course is offered in hybrid format (some students live and some on ZOOM).    While there is some overlap with the Health Care Fraud and Abuse course (now taught by…