1300.jpg
An experienced whistleblower attorney, successful trial attorney, former criminal prosecutor, and former reporter Representing whistleblowers reporting fraud on the Federal State Governments

Turkish-journalist-sentenced-300x200After a lawsuit was filed against investigative journalist, Pelin Ünker, for her reporting on the Paradise Papers, an Istanbul court has found her guilty of defaming Turkey’s former Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim. For speaking against Yildirim and reporting on his confirmed offshore activities, Ünker has been sentenced to thirteen months in jail and a substantial fee. However, this unjust ruling is truly unique, as it appears to have involved several political motivations in an effort to send a message to other Turkish journalists and silence similar reports in the future.

The Paradise Papers

But, what exactly are the Paradise Papers? The Paradise Papers are essentially a vast collection of leaked documents including emails, deeds, loan agreements, financial statements, and additional documents that reveal how several politicians, celebrities, and entire corporations stored hidden profits in offshore tax havens. The documents were initially leaked to a German newspaper from offshore service providers. However, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) agreed to review the documents before publishing any written work on the released documents. This movement brought together the investigative journalists and media partners of six continents; Pelin Ünker was one of these journalists.

Regulators found that the company had used “defeat” devices to cover up its true emissions figures, even though FCA insisted it had done nothing illegal.

“Fiat Chrysler tried to evade these standards by installing software to cheat emissions testing,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

pharmacy-fraud-300x199The pharmaceutical industry in Pasadena is much like the rest of the United States. There are certainly an influx of individuals who receive Medicare using these services for particular ailments and diseases that accompany being older than 65 years old. However, a local Pasadena pharmacy, Akhtamar Pharmacy, was abusing the Medicare funds provided for those particular individuals. Although the pharmacy owner did not act alone, she was able to steal $1.3 million dollars from the Medicare system.

Pasadena Pharmacy Owner Convicted for Medicare Fraud

Although the pharmaceutical industry is driven by a purpose to help those who need medication, it can also be a place for fraudulent acts to occur. With so much paperwork to be completed, many individuals find themselves taking advantage of the system by falsifying numbers or providing inaccurate invoices. Unfortunately, this was the case in a Pasadena pharmacy. A 39-year-old pharmacy owner, Tamar Tatarian, was convicted on one count of healthcare fraud and two counts of wire fraud at Akhtamar Pharmacy in Pasadena. It is believed that she committed the fraudulent acts which amounted to $1.3 million dollars in total.

new-brestmilk-device-300x200As matured human beings, we generally have a plethora of options when it comes to where we receive our nutrients, but for those in the fragile first 12 months of life, the choices are severely limited. Basically, the choices come down to either the less nutrient sufficient formula, or the more nutrient complex breast milk. So those who desire a more nutrient-rich diet for their infant will generally have to choose breast milk.

Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the Miris Human Milk Analyzer after reviewing it through the De Novo premarket review pathway, a regulatory pathway for new low-to-moderate-risk devices. This device and diagnostic test is designed to examine breast milk in order to accurately measure its nutrient composition. Breast milk composition will often vary depending on the individual, and so a test which can examine their nutritional value can be a valuable guide. The findings from this test can include concentrations of fat, carbohydrate, protein, total solids, and energy; providing healthcare professionals and parents of newborns with vital information.

The Miris Human Milk Analyzer is a prescription device used by professionals that operates by analyzing samples of human milk through an infrared spectroscopy system. This system will produce quantitative measurements of the contents contained in the milk. There are conditions that limit the information taken by the machine though, such as an interference from medication that is generally used by nursing mothers.

fish fraudFood fraud is the act of mislabeling an edible item in order to sell cheap alternatives for a higher price, and it costs the industry around $35 billion a year. Out of all food items for sale, the easiest victim of fraud is the seafood market. This is not only due to its increasing popularity stirred by the sushi craze, but also do to where Americans receive this massive amount of fish from. Nearly 90%, or 6 billion pounds per year, of the fish eaten annually by Americans is imported, which makes it extremely susceptible to overlooked mislabeling and fraud. This is all according to reports from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The most recent findings of this fishy food fraud come from the office of the New York Attorney General. Spending the last year conducting thorough research into the subject of fish in the nation, the New York AG’s office bought seafood at 29 supermarket brands across 155 different locations. The list of fish bought included snapper, grouper, cod, wild salmon, halibut, sole, striped bass, and white tuna, assuring that the most commonly bought fish where investigated. The results were less than satisfactory after DNA testing at the Ocean Genome Legacy Center, a laboratory at Northeastern University, found that many were mislabeled. The results including 27.6% of samples sold as wild salmon, 67% of red snapper, and 87.5% of lemon sole, being marked as fish fraud. This report also shows that two-thirds of the entire state’s supermarkets had at least one occurrence of fish mislabeling. That being said, fish fraud is nothing new.

Many citizens who are concerned about the quality of their food, or the quality of their health, may recall back in 2013 when the nonprofit ocean protection group Oceana released their findings concerning the tuna sold in restaurants and grocery stores. Oceana took a nationwide sample and found that 59% of what was categorized as tuna, was, in fact, an unappealing escolar. Escolar is not only a less appetizing alternative to tuna, but it also can lead to some unpleasant health issues such as oily rear leakage. Sadly, this was only the second largest misrepresentation of seafood in the nation, behind the time 87% of snapper was misrepresented as any of six other species. Oceana also conducted one of the biggest seafood fraud investigations from 2010 to 2012 and found that based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, 33% of the samples analyzed were mislabeled. Basically, this is no fluke, but as unsettling as this all may sound, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

SEC Pump-and-Dump Scheme The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged ten individuals, named as “microcap fraudsters” in the SEC press release, for numerous market manipulation schemes that lead to the group profiting over $27 million in unlawful stock sales. The classic “pump and dump” scheme went on for years and involved well-known figures in the cryptocurrency and biotech field.

The Microcap Fraudsters

Of the ten individuals charged in this complex and manipulative scheme, three names stand out from the group. At the forefront of the microcap fraud is Barry Honig, who once served as one of the largest shareholders of the cryptocurrency company, Riot Blockchain. According to the SEC, Honig was the primary leader of the market manipulation scheme, bringing together the group of those charged and strategizing their elaborate fraudulent activities.

American SuperConducter Inc.A Chinese company, Sinovel Wind Group Co., has been ordered to pay American SuperConducter Inc. (AMSC) $57.5 million after being convicted of multiple charges regarding the theft of proprietary software. This theft resulted in substantial losses for AMSC, including $800 million in revenue and $1 billion in stock market value. Today, the Chinese company has recently made its last installment payment of the agreed-upon settlement, however, the trade theft first began in 2011 in what was expected to be a profitable partnership between the two companies.

Initial Partnership

Originally, AMSC and Sinovel Wind Group Co. worked together in what seemed like a mutually beneficial business partnership. The agreement was that Sinovel Wind Group Co. would produce windmills and purchase $800 million in software from AMSC to control and operate the windmills. However, in 2011, Sinovel Wind Group Co. abruptly ended their agreement and claimed that they no longer needed the software from AMSC to control their windmills.

According to a recent study on electronic espionage vulnerabilities, the U.S. government is significantly at risk to Chinese espionage and cyber attacks as we are so dependent on electronics and software made in China This is an increasing risk as China seeks global technological dominance, according to a study for a congressionally chartered advisory commission.

Much of the  U.S. Government’s annual $90 billion spent on information technology is devoted to Chinese products, which creates the opportunity for China to seed U.S. government offices with spyware and electronic backdoors that can be exploited for cyber attacks, said Jennifer Bisceglie, chief executive of Interos Solutions, which conducted a recently released study.https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/Interos_Supply%20Chain%20Vulnerabilities%20from%20China%20in%20U.S.%20Federal%20ICT_final.pdf

“They are doing it,” Bisceglie said. “We’re not even making it difficult right now.”

The Department of Justice collected more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division announced today.  Recoveries since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, now total more than $59 billion.

Of the $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments recovered by the Department of Justice this past fiscal year, $2.5 billion involved the health care industry, including drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians.  This is the ninth consecutive year that the Department’s civil health care fraud settlements and judgments have exceeded $2 billion.  The recoveries included in the $2.5 billion reflect only federal losses but, in many of these cases, the Department was instrumental in recovering additional millions of dollars for state Medicaid programs.

In addition to combatting health care fraud, the False Claims Act serves as the government’s primary civil remedy to redress false claims for federal funds and property involving a multitude of government operations and contracts.  These areas range from defense and national security to import tariffs and small business programs.

China’s key export companies are pushing to build and expand their factories overseas, in Cambodia and Vietnam, according to Epoch Times and other media sources. One of them, KingClean Electric Co. is a company that creates cleaning appliances and garden tools and it says its overseas business accounted for 67 percent, according to its 2017 annual report. In October, KingClean Electric’s investment plan in constructing a Vietnamese production base was reviewed and approved during a shareholders’ meeting. In November, the project was approved by the Department of Commerce of Jiangsu Province. On Dec. 25, the securities department of KingClean Electric said, “We can’t control the tariff rate because the external environment has great uncertainty. Our company’s export business accounts for a relatively high proportion. So we can only try to find a solution, do our best, and make decisions based on our development.”

Zhejiang Henglin Chair Industry Co. Ltd. from Anji County, Zhejiang Province, is China’s largest exporter of office chairs. According to media reports, the company will invest $48 million to set up a manufacturing base in Vietnam. Zhejiang Jasan Holding Co. Ltd., a knitwear company based in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang Province, made two announcements in December that it will invest $36.23 million and $29 million to establish two companies in Vietnam.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) asserts strict control on foreign exchange, companies find it difficult to send funds overseas to start factories because of restrictions on how much can be transferred out of China. However, domestic enterprises can move funds abroad through foreign trade. Foreign-invested companies can legitimately transfer their profits overseas.