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On August 30, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it surpassed the $100 million mark in monetary awards for whistleblowers. Through the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers who possess “specific, credible and timely” information about federal securities laws violations to report information to the SEC. At the…
We are seeing a growing number of False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733 cases where defendants test the sufficiency of relators’ pleadings, which is the heightened pleading standard under Rule 9(b). Rule 9(b) acts as a gatekeeping function by requiring that “in alleging fraud” a “party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud.”  In general terms, under Rule 9(b), courts require Relators to plead with particularity the “who, what, when,…
Agreeing to pay a total of $15.5 million, a diagnostic imaging company has settled with the Department of Justice under the False Claims Act for allegedly submitting claims to Medicare for services never completed. Claims purportedly were made to federal Medicare and to New York and New Jersey Medicaid Programs for CT scans and other bundled tests.  Further, alleged payments were made to physicians to reward them for referrals.  Under the February 2014 settlement,…
Beginning July 1, 2014, New York State will require non-profit organizations to institute certain internal governance controls. The Non-Profit Revitalization Act (N.Y. N-PCL §§ 715-a, 715-b (2014)) imposes new requirements on whistleblower and conflict of interest policies, as well as financial reporting and audit procedures. The required whistleblower policy, designed to promote an employer’s zero tolerance against retaliation for reporting suspected improper conduct, covers any non-profit with at least 20 employees and annual revenue in…
An increasing number of employers are conducting background checks on applicants and employees and many are outsourcing this function. Employers that outsource their background check function will find themselves subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which contains a set of “technical” compliance requirements. The lack of guidance by courts in the area of background checks has left employers wondering whether their “best practices” will pass muster if challenged. A recent decision from the…