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An experienced whistleblower attorney, successful trial attorney, former criminal prosecutor, and former reporter Representing whistleblowers reporting fraud on the Federal State Governments

dominos pizza fraudWhile everyone enjoys a nice slice of the pie, Domino’s Pizza has had a corporate insider file a detailed whistleblower report with the SEC against top-level officers and various staff members. This case involves general misconduct and an alleged scheme involving misleading franchisors and fraudulent investments.

On February 19, 2019, the franchise community website Blue MauMau reported that “[a] corporate insider has filed a well-documented whistleblower report with the [SEC] against Domino’s Pizza, its top-level officers, and various staff members.” Domino’s allegedly forced an unapproved advertising increase to franchisees in order to pay a $1.85 billion Securitization Transaction to gain higher stock prices and dividends.

Details of this case came directly from a concerned insider at Domino’s Pizza who noticed the presence of possible misconduct and decided to blow the whistle on this major pizza chain.

prescription drugsWith the increased frustration regarding inflated prescription drug prices, states like Florida are pushing for legislative programs that would permit the United States to import drugs from Canada. If this bill were to pass, it would allow many of the identical prescription drugs consumed by Americans to be purchased for a third of the price. However, this is not the first time a bill of this nature has been attempted.

In Utah, a similar bill that would have allowed the state to import prescription drugs from Canada was eventually turned down after lawmakers spent two-years developing the legislation. However, representatives in the state of Utah have not given up and claim that they will try a variation of the bill again next year. Leading the original legislation, as well as the upcoming bill is Republican Representative Norman Thurston.

However, the state of Florida is the next in the line to attempt to pass a similar version of this bill, which would permit the importation of prescription drugs for both Medicaid and prisoners. If passed, an additional program of the legislation would also allow the importation of these products for residents of the state.

tax havenReports from London have shown that nearly a third of the billionaires located in Britain plan to or have already moved to areas considered tax havens. In addition to this sudden shift, there is also talk of an investigation into political party bankrolling from those that have chosen to relocate, as well as the delay in a vote involving the end of secret company ownership in offshore territories.

According to the Times news, 28 out of the 93 recorded British billionaires have been found through public record to have moved or been in the process of moving to a tax haven within the last decade.

Tax havens are locations in the world in which taxation is extremely light or sometimes even non-existent. Examples of these are the Channel Islands or countries like Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates that pay little to no tax.

Medicaid fraudWaveney Blackman, the owner of durable medical equipment company WaveCare Health services, has been charged with one act of healthcare fraud for filing claims to Medicaid for products that were never purchased through her business. Blackman pleaded guilty to these charges after one month and has been sentenced to 42 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $9.4 million, the sum of WaveCare’s proceeds from fraudulent claims.

During the years of 2010 to 2016, Blackman filed multiple claims to Medicaid for incontinence products, wound care supplies, and other pieces of durable medical equipment that resulted in revenue of $9.4 million. None of these products were ever given to Medicaid clients or even requested by one. These fraudulent claims were filed by Blackman herself, along with the assistance of her employees through a WaveCare biller.

Within one month of being charged, Blackman signed a plea agreement that detailed the illegal actions taken, as well as the proceeds she received from them. The government has seized a Mercedes, seven properties, and money traced to two separate bank accounts, and the judge ordered Blackman to pay the total of $9.4 million WaveCare reportedly received in fraudulent claims. She will also be sentenced to 42 months in prison.

Foreign-bribes-venezuela-300x194The president of a company based in Miami, as well as one of its former sales representatives, hoped to gain access to more work and receive payment of past due invoices by bribing officials at Venezuela’s state energy company.

The two men involved are Rafael Enrique Pinto Franceschi, referred to as Pinto, and Franz Herman Muller Huber, referred to as Muller. Pinto lives in Miami and is the president of the company in question at the age of 40, while Muller was a former sales representative for that company and is currently living in Weston, Florida at the age of 68.

Pinto and Muller were charged with two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to launder money, and one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Act. Altogether these two were charged in a five-count indictment in the Southern District of Texas on February 21, 2019.

oil-company-bribes-300x200In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company, TechnipFMC plc, stated that they have set aside $280 million in possible settlement funds involving bribery-related offenses. The payment would be delivered to authorities in the United States as well as Brazil and France.

TechnipFMC plc is a company based in London that is often found engaging in projects involving oil and gas. They were formed through a merger in 2017, including the UK-based FMC Technologies Inc. and French oil-services giant Technip SA. In 2010, Technip SA paid $338 million to resolve its own issue involving FCPA offenses in Nigeria that involved using massive bribes to win contracts worth $6 billion. They then used these bribery-won contracts to build massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on Bonny Island in Nigeria.

Moving back to the present, this current reserve of settlement funds is related to an investigation involving a number of factors. TechnipFMC states in a summary of their financial statement for the fourth quarter in 2018 that, “We are cooperating with the U.S., Brazilian, and French authorities in their investigations of potential violations of anti-corruption laws relating to historical projects in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana, and Unaoil contracts. We have been informed that these authorities have been coordinating their investigations, which could result in a global resolution.”.

foreign bribesHempel A/S, a coating supplier based in Denmark, has decided to settle allegations of bribery with a payment of $33.4 million to enforcement agencies in Denmark and Germany.

In April of 2017, Hempel A/S self-reported a number of illegal sales practices that were discovered in Germany, as well as other countries in Europe and parts of Asia. A statement involving this situation with Hempel A/S has stated for the record, “The unlawful practices were stopped immediately and the people responsible were replaced. Hempel has completed internal remediation, invested heavily, and established a robust compliance framework.”

Bribery, when it comes to the law, is the act of giving or receiving something of value in exchange of influence that one would not normally have influence over. While in some rare legal situations this may be a possibly acceptable action to take, in most cases bribery is a highly punishable offense in the corporate world. That being said, according to the International Monetary Fund, an estimated $1.5 to $2 trillion changes hands every year when it comes to bribes.

fake honeyHoney producers in western Canada have been showing concern for the way the Canadian Food Inspection Agency chooses to address increasing incidences involving fake honey. Producers believe that the current mainstream way of testing is failing to detect certain types of fake honey, and so a British Columbia beekeeper has spent $1 million in an effort to create a new form of testing that they are urging the government to make use of.

The current system the CFIA has in place to indicate whether the honey passing through them is adulterated or not is a standard test that involved a stable isotope ratio analysis that looks for C-4 sugars. This C-4 test is highly effective in detecting honey that has been altered by corn syrup but misses the mark when it comes to more creative variations such as those that use rice syrup.

This situation with fake honey has caused a major hit on the industry in Canada. The United States, one of Canada’s biggest markets, is treating Canadian honey the same as cheaper honey from places like Ukraine, which is putting a major dent in the honey industry. Also, honey sales from Australia have dropped by seven percent after a major incident with fraudulent honey.

insulinEli Lilly, a pharmaceutical giant known for their rapid-acting insulin, Humalog, has officially decided to release a generic version of insulin that will be nearly half the price of its name-brand product.

Not long before this announcement, many pharmaceutical leaders were gathered in order to discuss the issue concerning confusingly high drug prices. One of the main targets of this debate was the increase in pricing for insulin, in which people who have diabetes have been drastically rationing due to their inability to afford what they need to survive.

Humalog, one of the nation’s more expensive insulin options, has had a big increase in their cost over the years. Senator Ron Wyden states, “The list price of Eli Lilly’s main insulin drug, Humalog, went from $21 a vial in 1996 to its current list price of $275.” He then continues to question these actions by stating that, “Humalog isn’t thirteen times as effective as it used to be… A vial doesn’t last thirteen times longer than it did in 1996.”.

college admissions chargesParents of college-bound students have been accused of being involved in a college admission scheme worth millions, including two prominent actresses, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. This scheme was set into place in the hopes of helping ensure their children had a better chance of getting into prominent universities by fabricating their credentials and arranging brides for athletic directors and test administrators.

While parents were responsible for paying for these fraudulent actions, the person running the scam was an individual named William Rick Singer. Singer is a California resident who owned and operated Edge College of Career Network LLC, as well as stood as acting CEO of the non-profit charity corporation Key Worldwide Foundation. With these two organizations under his control, he was able to act on the parent’s wishes to improve their child’s chances of entrance into desirable universities while using KWF as a way to move shady funds around as charitable donations. Clients of Singer, including the two well-known actresses, would pay anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million for his services.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,”, Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, stated. “They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer, and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”