On August 14, 2023, in a rare whistleblower award opinion, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) denial of a whistleblower award in Granzoti v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2023 WL 519503 (11th Cir.). The opinion establishes that eligibility for SEC whistleblower awards follows an actual causation standard – i.e.
On July 12, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) awarded $9 million to a whistleblower who submitted a tip through the SEC’s Whistleblower Program. Per agency policy, the Award Order is heavily redacted and does not reveal the nature of the enforcement action, let alone the whistleblower’s identity.
On May 5, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it had awarded a single whistleblower $279 million. This is the largest award made under the SEC’s Whistleblower Program by a long shot – more than double the now-second highest award, which stands at $114 million.
After a rare False Claims Act (FCA) trial, a St. Paul federal jury has returned a verdict for the government in United States, ex rel. Kipp Fesenmaier v. Cameron-Ehlen Group, Inc., No. 0:13-cv-03003 (D. Minn.).
The jury found that ophthalmic products supplier, Cameron-Ehlen Group, Inc.
- The Treasury Whistleblower Program now provides for guaranteed awards of 10% to 30% of the government recovery in covered actions
- The Treasury Whistleblower Program has been expanded to include not just tips concerning anti-money laundering violations but also those regarding various forms of sanctions evasion
- The new law goes hand-in-hand with the government’s aggressive crackdown on Russian sanctions evaders and those that assist them
During the holidays,
It’s not always sunny for everyone on the Florida beaches. On January 30, 2023, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced that Al Clint LaRoche of West Palm Beach pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud involving more than $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program.
On November 30, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revived a quality control manager’s FCA retaliation claim in United States ex rel. Ascolese v. Shoemaker Constr. Co., — F.4th —, 2022 WL 17335121 (3d Cir. 2022).
The Third Circuit’s precedential opinion addressed for the first time how Congress’s 2009 and 2010 amendments affect the False Claims Act’s retaliation standard.
Takeaway: The Eastern District of New York rules that the tax code gives relator’s counsel superpriority to False Claims settlement proceeds.
The United States government has four primary whistleblower statutes and reward programs:
- The Federal False Claims Act (“FCA”)
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Whistleblower Program
- The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Whistleblower Program
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Whistleblower Program
All of these whistleblower programs are quite democratic.
Takeaway: Recent qui tam settlement highlights the DOJ’s continued focus on fraud and abuse in the diagnostics industry and robust enforcement of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
Earlier this month, Snap Diagnostics LLC and two of its executives entered into a nearly $4 million settlement with the United States to settle two qui tam lawsuits.