Like much of America, we have been following the story of Wells Fargo's sales tactics and the government response to it. We haven't discussed this matter in depth yet here on our blog (just a brief comment about its implications for whistleblower retaliation), so I thought we would discuss it following the media reports that the Feds knew...
The Securities and Exchange Commission defended its ability to disgorge illegal profits from wrongdoers before the Supreme Court yesterday in Kokesh v. SEC. It was Justice Neil Gorsuch's second day of oral arguments.  An opinion is expected by the end of the term in July. The case is now focused on the question of how long the SEC can seek...
President Trump is signing an executive order today to implement a more muscular Buy American Act. This measure likely signals strengthened enforcement of the Buy American Act under the False Claims Act. The Buy American Act is a domestic preference procurement program. It gives favorable treatment to contractors that are completing the project with goods Made in the United States....
The Justice Department is reportedly investigating efforts by Barclays CEO Jes Staley to unmask a whistleblower who sent two anonymous letters to the bank's board of directors complaining about the hiring of a mid-level executive. Barclays reportedly asked the U.S. Postal Service for assistance in tracking down the sender of the letters, though it claims that it never learned...
Because we are a smaller firm, we spend a lot of energy upfront evaluating potential whistleblower cases. The importance of this process was emphasized again by a Fourth Circuit decision last month in United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Community, Inc. (4th Cir. Feb. 14, 2017) The case involved an interlocutory appeal of a pair of U.S. District...
Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden have proposed the IRS Whistleblower Improvements Act of 2017 in the U.S. Senate today.  If adopted, the law will provide for (1) enhanced communications between the Internal Revenue Service and whistleblowers, and (2) anti-retaliation protections for tax whistleblowers.  Both would be significant improvements to the IRS whistleblower program created a decade ago. Communications between...
The former head of enforcement at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) told Reuters that there is a "massive amount of misconduct" in futures, options and swaps markets. This fraud, which includes prohibited market manipulation, insider trading, front-running and Ponzi schemes, goes undetected because of insufficient data mining and exceeds the amount prosecuted currently by the CFTC. He...
Congress is considering a bill to reform medical malpractice lawsuits called the Protecting Access to Care Act. Despite its well-intentioned name, the legislation would gut patient's rights here in Pennsylvania and around the country. The bill is a misguided effort to blame the high costs of health insurance and health care on the attorneys who fight daily for victims of...
On a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the right of internal whistleblowers to sue under the Dodd-Frank Act after they are retaliated against for informing their company of suspected violations of federal securities laws. The circuit split on anti-retaliation protections for internal SEC whistleblowers now consists of the Second and Ninth Circuits in favor and the Fifth...
Brandon Lauria will speak on SEC enforcement of Rule 21F-17 at a Knowledge Group live webcast on March 9, 2017.  Rule 21F-17 prohibits confidentiality agreements and other measures which restrict access to the SEC whistleblower program.  The one hour webcast at noon (EST) will cover the rule protecting whistleblower communications with the SEC and recent civil enforcement actions brought...
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