Monday, March 13, 2006
Conservative Party in Canada considers US-style Whistleblower Law
Canada’s conservatives are considering an American-style law that would pay a bounty to a whistleblower who sues a company that defrauds the federal government or wastes taxpayers’ money.
Conservative Pierre Poilievre, who is overseeing the Harper government’s whistleblower reforms, is meeting with U.S. Congress members in Washington over the next several days to see if the False Claims Act can be adapted to Canada as part of the much-touted Federal Accountability Act.
Click the following link to read the False Claims Act story from the Ottawa Citizen.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 03/13 at 02:26 PM
Iraq War Contractor convicted Under False Claims Act; must pay $10 Million
A federal jury last Thursday found contractor Custer Battles and its owners, Scott Custer and Michael Battles, liable for fraud in the first Iraq military contract case prosecuted under the False Claims Act. The jury ordered Custer Battles to pay $10 million for fraudulently billing the government on Iraq reconstruction contracts.
The jurors in the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., found that Custer Battles had overcharged the government on a contract to replace old Iraqi currency with new bills, according to a UPI report on Friday. They also awarded William Baldwin, one of the whistle-blowers who brought the case, $230,000 in back pay for being demoted after complaining about Custer Battles’ billing practices.
Click the following link to read the UPI story on this landmark False Claims Act verdict.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 03/13 at 02:00 PM
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Custer Battles Defense Fraud Case goes to Jury
A lawyer for two whistleblowers demanded more than $10 million in damages and penalties yesterday against the men he called the “war whores” of Custer Battles LLC, the Rhode Island company accused of faking millions of dollars worth of bills for work in Iraq after the U.S. invasion.
According to an account in the Providence Journal and projo.com, lawyer Alan M. Grayson addressed the jury at the close of a three-week civil trial in federal court in Virginia. “There is a war in Iraq and people are dying,” he said, adding that If people like former Rhode Islander Michael J. Battles and his partner, Scott Custer, “go there simply to make money, to steal, it’s not like stealing from a bank because people’s lives are at stake.”
Lawyers for the contractors and their codefendant called the whistleblowers “bounty hunters” whose lawsuit against Custer Battles was driven by a combination of misunderstanding, opportunism and spite after their falling-out with the contractor. Click the following link to read the full account of the fraud trial’s closing arguments.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 03/08 at 09:35 AM
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Georgia Healthcare Company to pay $9 Million to settle False Claims Act Charge
Matria Healthcare of Marietta, Georgia has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by two former employees and joined by the federal government. The employees charges that the company defrauded the government by engaging in a series of improprieties in the sale of diabetes self care products.
They also alleged that the management of the company sought to cover-up the fraud by firing them when they raised the fraud with top management. One of the whistleblowers, Sandra Clarke, alleged in her complaint that top management not only condoned of the fraudulent schemes, but in some cases developed them. One of the schemes involved shipping products to dead people – and then billing the federal government.
Click the following link for the full story on the False Claims Act Settlement from Corporate Crime Reporter.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 03/07 at 02:59 PM
Monday, March 06, 2006
California Supreme Court throws out San Fran Whistleblower Case
The California Supreme Court has thrown out a whistleblower lawsuit by the city of San Francisco that accused an accounting firm of failing to disclose that a title company was cheating the state out of millions of dollars, according to a report in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle.
The city did not claim losses from the alleged misdeeds of the accountant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, but sued under a law that allows triple damages against anyone who defrauds the government, and provides a share of the damages to those who uncover and report the fraud. However, the court ruled unanimously that public agencies, such as cities and school districts, can’t sue as whistleblowers under the law and can’t be sued under the same law for allegedly defrauding the state. The 1987 law, the California False Claims Act, applies to suits by or against individuals, organizations and corporations, categories that do not include government agencies, the court said.
Click the following link for the full story on the California False Claims Act.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 03/06 at 01:15 PM
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