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On October 10, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an amended ruling dismissing Ralls Corporation’s (“Ralls”) challenge to a presidential order requiring divestiture of its interest in four companies engaged in developing wind farms near a Naval base in Oregon. After the deal concluded, Ralls – a Delaware corporation privately owned by two Chinese nationals – submitted the deal to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”)…
Last month, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued two regulations that require federal contractors to employ more veterans and individuals with disabilities, updating long-existing federal laws. For over 40 years, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (“VEVRA”) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 503”) have required federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit and hire veterans and disabled individuals. The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has updated its implementation…
This post was written by Andrew Bernasconi and Nathan Fennessy. As we noted previously, there has been increasing attention in False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases to whistleblowers who fail to preserve relevant evidence. Now, in a recent decision in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, the government has been sanctioned for its failure to preserve relevant evidence from key officials at the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare (“CMS”). See United…
As many expected, today President Obama issued an Order exercising his statutory authority to block foreign investment in the United States that he finds to impair national security – in this case, the acquisition of wind farms in Oregon by Ralls Corporation, a firm owned by Chinese nationals. As previously reported, following CFIUS’ interim measures to prevent Ralls from moving forward with the investment (as CFIUS claimed, to maintain the status quo), Ralls filed…
In a closely-watched case that will have important implications for future Chinese investment in the U.S. renewable energy market, President Obama is expected to rule in the next day or so on whether Ralls Corporation can go ahead with the acquisition of a wind farm that happens to be located near restricted airspace used for training exercises conducted by the U.S. Navy. Ralls is privately owned by two Chinese nationals. In March 2012, Ralls was…
This post was written by Gunjan Talati. Suspension and debarment has long been a remedy available to the government to ensure that it only does business with currently responsible contractors. When a company is suspended or debarred, it is subject to a number of restrictions, primarily not being able to do business with the government as a prime contractor or subcontractor. For a company that does nothing but government contracts, this can be a substantial…
This post was written by Andrew C. Bernasconi and Nathan Fennessy. Continuing the recent trend of decisions sanctioning whistleblowers for failing to comply with their discovery obligations (see our previous posts “Whistleblower Precluded from Relying Upon Stolen Records for False Claims Act Case” and “FCA Qui Tam Relator Sanctioned for Destroying Evidence on Company-Issued Laptop”), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently granted a motion to…
Qui tam relators may have a difficult time in the future when relying upon stolen records or confidential patient information in False Claims Act (“FCA”) whistleblower actions after a recent decent by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. See Cabotage v. Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry, No. 11-cv-50 (S.D. Ohio July 27, 2012). Our colleagues at the Life Sciences Legal Update blog recently discussed the impact of Cabotage, in which a…
This post was written by Timothy J. Nagle and Gunjan Talati. On Friday, August 24, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) Council issued a proposed rule that adds a subpart and contract clause to the FAR that would force government contractors to implement basic information-systems safeguards for any non-public information that is provided by or generated for the government. While the proposed rule is intended to plug a hole in the FAR that does not currently…
This post was written by James L. Sanders. An unnamed individual who provided information to the SEC about a securities fraud has been awarded $50,000 under the SEC’s Whistleblower Program. The award represents 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected by the SEC in the case in which the whistleblower provided information. The whistleblower has also been awarded 30 percent of any additional monetary sanctions that the SEC collects in that matter. This is…