Unquestionably, 2014 was a banner year for whistleblowers on many fronts. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), under the penumbra of the relatively new Dodd-Frank Act, started to sharpen its focus on corporate whistleblowing, as evidenced by the record payout in September 2014 of more than $30 million to a whistleblower who had helped alert the SEC to what it described as an ongoing fraud. And not to be outdone, the U.S. Justice Department recovered nearly $6 billion from False Claims Act cases in fiscal year 2014. According to the Justice Department, this was the first time the government’s annual recovery exceeded $5 billion, and for the second consecutive year there were over 700 whistleblower lawsuits filed. These trends will likely continue going forward as both the SEC and the Justice Department have increased resources for fighting and ferreting fraud. Continue reading
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP represented a key whistleblower behind a $48 million settlement announced yesterday between Ensign Group, a California-based nursing home operator, and the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement resolves two whistleblower lawsuits filed by former Ensign therapists under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The actions alleged that the Ensign Group submitted false Medicare claims for more than a decade, from 1999 through 2011.