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            Qui Tam Whistleblowers - The Whistleblawger
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            California legislators looking to expand False Claims Act to tax fraud

            California Assembly Bill 1270 was introduced on February 21, 2019. If it becomes law, it would amend the state’s False Claims Act to remove the bar against tax-related false claims.

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            Deputy Associate AG Talks False Claims Act

            Yesterday, Deputy Associate Attorney General Stephen Cox delivered remarks on the False Claims Act and qui tam enforcement by the Department of Justice.  His speech touched on five major topics: Fraud on the Taxpayer Qui Tam Dismissals Subregulatory Guidance Piling On Cooperation Credit

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            New Justice Manual Speaks to the Brand Memo’s Impact on False Claims Act Cases

            New provisions of the Justice Manual that were circulated by the Deputy Attorney General recently provide new insight on how the Department of Justice will implement the Brand Memo in False Claims Act cases.  The Brand Memo was issued on January 25, 2018 and quickly spread through the whistleblower legal community as it seemed to limit the use of agency guidance documents in affirmative civil enforcement cases.  Since its release, the memo has been repeatedly cited by defendants who claimed that violations of subregulatory guidance should not be considered in False Claims Act cases.

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            DOJ Cites James Hoyer Case in 2018 Report on the False Claims Act

            DOJ Whistleblower Attorneys

            The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued its report on False Claims Act cases for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2018.  In the report, DOJ cited James Hoyer’s case against Prime Healthcare as an example of DOJ’s efforts to hold individuals accountable for fraud:

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            Is the IRS Discouraging Whistleblowers From Coming Forward?

            The IRS might be hampering its own whistleblower program by not implementing policies and procedures to incentivize whistleblower rewards. Since 2007, the IRS Whistleblower Program has helped collect $3.6 billion, from which whistleblowers received anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of the proceeds of an individual funds recovery.

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            Federal Whistleblower Report Announces Increased Rewards and Heightened Anti-Fraud Efforts

            The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued its annual report this month. The 31-page document evidences the CFTC’s heightened anti-fraud efforts and the increased rewards that we are seeing for those who come forward to report fraud through the CFTC Whistleblower Program that has resulted in almost $100 million in rewards.

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            CFTC’s Authority Over Standalone Anti-Fraud Activities under the Dodd-Frank Act

            There is presently a disagreement among federal courts as to the scope of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFTC’s primary focus has always been on swaps and commodity futures contracts governed by the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).  However, the CFTC has also historically had anti-fraud and anti-manipulation enforcement authority as well relating to transactions that involve actual purchases of a commodity, such as precious metal sales of gold coins.  See CEA Sections 4b; 6(c)(3); 9(a)(2).

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            CFTC Announces Multiple Whistleblower Awards Totaling More than $45 Million

            The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced multiple whistleblower awards totaling more than $45 million.  The awards demonstrate the growing success of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, in particular, the increasing volume and complexity of incoming whistleblower submissions.

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            Puerto Rico Tackles Medicaid Fraud with the Passing of its own False Claims Act

            The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico recently announced the enactment of House Bill 1627, simultaneously enacting a Puerto Rican False Claims Act and authorizing the establishment of a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The new law allows whistleblowers to report any fraudulent act against the Puerto Rican government.  

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            CFTC Announces First Whistleblower Award to a Foreign Whistleblower

            CFTC

            The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced a whistleblower award of more than $70,000 to a foreign whistleblower, a first of its kind award for a foreign individual who significantly contributed to an ongoing CFTC investigation that led the CFTC to a successful settlement. It’s the sixth award to a whistleblower who provided valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

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