The United States has joined a lawsuit brought by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act accusing UnitedHealth Group of bilking Medicare by fraudulently boosting payments through the inflation of plan members’ risk scores under Medicare Advantage. In other words, UnitedHealth told the United States that patients were sicker than they were and collected more money from the government as...
We are seeing more movement on the payment of whistleblower rewards internationally. Nigeria and Korea have been paying rewards recently and Australia continues to consider stronger retaliation protections and monetary incentives. This is in addition to the Ontario Securities Commission’s implementation of a program to reward tips about securities fraud last year. Here is a brief overview of the news...
The Department of Energy recently announced in the Federal Register a 60 day stay of its new regulation permitting civil penalties against contractors and subcontractors that retaliate against an employee reporting fraud, waste or abuse. The DOE cited the Chief of Staff’s January 20, 2017 memorandum, which calls for a 60 day delay in the effective date of...
The Internal Revenue Service is just over halfway done releasing its list of tax scams for 2017. The Dirty Dozen list has been an annual feature of the IRS website and garners a significant amount of media attention warning taxpayers to avoid the tax evasion techniques and fraudulent schemes listed. In recent years, the IRS has released one entry...
Firing whistleblowers for informing the government about corporate activities has been standard practice at many businesses for a long time. That practice may be changing quickly if the government continues to pursue enforcement actions against companies engaged in retaliation and juries continue to provide multi-million dollar verdicts to whistleblowers. This week, the media reported an $11 million verdict in the...

FCPA Enforcement in 2017

The end of the Obama Administration was one of the busiest in the resolution of government investigations ever. The SEC and DOJ wrapped up nine Foreign Corrupt Practice Act investigations in the course of two months. The enforcement actions involved: Odebrecht and Braskem: $3.5 billion (US, Brazil and Switzerland) Rolls Royce: $800 million (US, UK and Brazil) Teva: $519...
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offered a set of recommendations for employers to create retaliation-free workplaces. The guidance is directed at employers with employees covered by the 22 whistleblower protection statutes enforced by OSHA. The publication reinforces the broad scope of 22 federal statutes offering anti-retaliation protections concerning hazards or violations of various workplace safety and health,...
Eric Young was interviewed for the January 16, 2017 edition of the Corporate Crime Reporter on the new auto whistleblower reward program established by Congress in 2015 as part of the FAST Act. With Takata and VW paying large fines to the U.S. Government in the past two weeks, it is a timely read. The new whistleblower law joins the...
In the 10th year since the creation of Internal Revenue Code section 7623(b), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Program issued 418 awards totaling more than $61 million (before sequestration), according to the annual report issued by the program’s Whistleblower Office to Congress. The total number of awards represented a 322 percent increase over fiscal year 2015.  The monetary...
It was an interesting week on government enforcement as the Obama Administration is closing out its term with fines against auto industry manufacturers VW ($4.3 billion) and Takata (expected to be up to $1 billion). After the inauguration, these enforcement decisions will be in the hands of the Trump Administration. President-elect Trump has promised change in Washington and a more...
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