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Supreme Court extends whistle-blower protections under an...

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday expanded protections for whistle blowers covered by an anti-fraud law passed following the collapse of energy giant Enron, ruling outside accountants, auditors and lawyers cannot be fired or punished for exposing fraud. The 6-3 decision will have an effect in the mutual fund and financial services industries, the court said, because they rely heavily on outside contractors and advisers. The case before the court arose when two employees of a firm that did research for the Fidelity family of mutual funds revealed the funds were overstating expenses. They alleged that in some instances, Fidelity was operating “veiled index funds” while collecting a fee as though they were actively managed. The two employees say they were reprimanded and ultimately dismissed for having exposed this fraud. When they sued their employer under the Sarbannes-Oxley Act, they lost when an appeals court ruled the law’s protection for whistle blowers covered only employees of public firms, not outside advisers and accountants. In their appeal to the high court, they said this would reimpose “the very code of silence” that allowed massive frauds such as Enron to occur. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking for the court, said Congress meant to broadly protect whistle blowers who could expose wrongdoing. It made no sense, she said, to think “a Congress, prompted by the Enron debacle, would exclude from whistle-blower protection countless professionals equipped to bring fraud on investors to a halt.” Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan agreed. A dissent was filed by Justice Sonia Sotomayor who said the law covered only “employees” of public companies, not outside advisers. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito agreed with her. The whistle-blower provisions in the law protect those who reveal frauds from retaliation, and they also allow them to receive a share of money that is recovered if a fraud is exposed. Source: http://occupywalls t.org/forum/suprem e-court-extends-wh istle-blower-prote ctions/  (Mar 22, 2014 | post #1)

The Avanti Law Group: Haste Clouds Long-Term Effort on Mo...

A report issued by the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, underscores the danger of extolling short-term results when it comes to prosecuting white-collar crimes. The report highlights how generating headlines seemed to take precedence over accurate figures in the government’s fight against mortgage fraud. In October 2012, less than a month before the presidential election, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called a news conference to trumpet the Justice Department’s success in combating foreclosure fraud through a program called the Distressed Homeowner Initiative. “The success of the Distressed Homeowner Initiative, and the developments we announce today, underscore our determination to pursue these and other financial fraud criminals around the country,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. The claims of great success came during a time of persistent criticism that the Justice Department was not taking stronger action to pursue fraud in the run-up to the financial crisis. The numbers offered by Mr. Holder for the first year of the initiative were impressive: charges filed against 530 defendants, including 172 executives, from frauds that resulted in losses of more than $1 billion. After questions from the news media about those claims, almost a year later the Justice Department revised those figures significantly downward. The total number of defendants charged was 107, with no reference to any executives, and the loss from criminal activity was $95 million. In response to Mr. Horowitz’s report, a Justice Department spokeswoman pointed out: “In the time period in question, the number of mortgage fraud indictments nearly doubled, and the number of convictions rose by more than 100 percent.”  (Mar 18, 2014 | post #1)

The Avanti Law Group: Affordable Care Act Scam

Affordable Care Act Scam named Better Business Bureau’s 2013 ‘Scam of the Year’ The Better Business Bureau announced its “Top 10 Scams of 2013.” Leading the pack, believe it or not, was the Affordable Care Act Scam, which most would refer to as the Obamacare scam. As much as he may want to differ, CBS late night host David Letterman didn’t invent the idea of a “top 10 list” — it’s been around for a long time, and that includes the 102 year-old Better Business Bureau, which has published a top 10 scam report for years. “Scammers used the uncertainty of Obamacare to trick Americans into sharing personal information. They call victims and offer new insurance or Medicare cards if they provide personal information,” according to its website. Read more: http://raygriffrin .quora.com/The-Ava nti-Law-Group-Affo rdable-Care-Act-Sc am  (Mar 2, 2014 | post #1)

The Avanti Law Group: Federal crackdown on Medicare fraud...

The U.S. Department of Justice could dub 2013 the year its fight against Medicare billing fraud in Southeast Michigan yielded the first real payoff. Last year, the Detroit Medicare Fraud Strike Force, deployed here from Washington, and a locally organized Health Care Fraud Unit of prosecutors together brought charges in fraud schemes billing more than $380 million to the federal program. That's more than double the bad billing amount charged in any preceding year. It's been a slow build since the strike force came to Detroit in 2009 as part of the national Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, referred to as HEAT, to ferret out what data analysis suggested was hundreds of millions worth of fraud here. The effort is gaining traction, according to both investigators and a Crain's analysis of local casework and Justice Data. Read full article here: http://www.crainsd etroit.com/article /20140223/NEWS/302 239969/federal-cra ckdown-on-medicare -fraud-in-metro-de troit-hits-it-big  (Feb 27, 2014 | post #1)

Avanti Law Group: Bekjempe svindel a bunnlinjen spesialra...

http://www.cbs58.c om/features/the-bo ttom-line/Fighting -Fraud--A-Bottom-L ine-Special-Report -245055101.html Milwaukee - det er en forsøkt og avrette svindel. Arbeidere falsk skade å få en stor gevinst fra skattebetalere. En arbeidstaker kompensasjon bill i Wisconsin Legislature inneholder forslag å bekjempe svindel. CBS 58 møtte med lokale lovgiveren, fagforeningsleder og privat etterforsker på leting etter svar. Hvor stor svindel problem i Wisconsin, og hva som blir gjort for å slå ned på svindlere? "Det er virkelig trist fordi noen dårlige epler ødelegger det for alle" sa Ryan Sanchez, ledelsen privat etterforsker med Ryan Adam undersøkelser som stakes ut mistenkt arbeiderens comp og funksjonshemming fordeler cheaters. "Jeg har faktisk sett folk kaste sin stokk i bagasjerommet deres når de kommer tilbake fra legen." Ifølge koalisjonen mot Forsikringssvindel er presis nasjonale og statlige statistikk på kompensasjon svindel mangelvare. Men tommelfingerregele n er at 1 i alle 10 krav dollar er tapt for svindel, ikke bare skyldes arbeidere falsk skade, men selskapene misclassifying ansatte ulovlig lavere sin premie. "I Wisconsin, arbeidstaker kompensasjon systemet, vi se svært få tilfeller av bedrageri" sier Stephanie Bloomingdale med Wisconsin staten AFL-CIO. Imidlertid har arbeiderens kompensasjon rådet som hun sitter på inkludert en justice department svindel etterforsker posisjon i en massiv arbeiderens kompensasjon reformlover debatteres av staten lovgivere. "Når det er svindel i systemet, må vi ta vare på som avgjørende, og vi tror denne nye tillegg vil hjelpe i denne situasjonen. Statlige Senator Glenn Grothman er også medlem av advisory council. West svingen republikanske sier mens svindel er en bekymring, økende medisinske kostnader er vondt ansatte, arbeidsgivere og innsats for å tiltrekke seg virksomhet til Wisconsin mest. "Våre medisinske leverandører belaste mer for arbeiderens comp arbeid enn de gjør i andre stater. Det betyr at våre premiene er høyere og det gjør oss mindre konkurransedyktige ." Wisconsin Medical Society motsetter avgift tidsplaner endringer sier slike caps "kunne opprette en disincentive for å gi omsorg for skadde arbeidere og ødelegge hva er en nasjonal modell." Grothman sier "skal være en stor kamp kongelig i lovgivende forsamling over den neste måneden som vi se om vi kan endre systemet eller ikke." Social Group: http://www.buzznet .com/groups/theava ntilawgrp/ Social Media: https://plus.googl e.com/communities/ 111458395021388415 177  (Feb 17, 2014 | post #1)