Does ABC story on McAllen, TX home health scam bar whistleblower claims?

12 March 2012

Size, they say, matters in Texas.  Based on a recent undercover story alleging Texas-sized Medicare fraud in home health care, ABC News agrees. One remarkable aspect of the drama (video below) is the apparent lack of, well, drama.  It’s all in a day’s work, business as usual in McAllen, Texas. Media investigative reports offer good […]

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SEC double-counting enforcement stats? Say it ain’t so!

9 March 2012

Full disclosure is an SEC article of faith. Right?  The agency that wields Rule 10b-5 and Rule 12b-20 — “don’t omit material facts,” “don’t employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,” “don’t be evil,” (whoops! how’d that get in here?!) — must be filled with true believers. Or so we hope. A recent Bloomberg […]

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Happy Birthday to the False Claims Act!

2 March 2012

The False Claims Act known as “Lincoln’s Law” was signed 149 years ago today by then President Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln.  Since its signing, the law has saved U.S. taxpayers many billions of dollars, $30 billion in civil recoveries* since 1986 alone. Whistleblowers and their legal counsel are key players in the anti-fraud effort.  Thanks […]

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Memo to Whistleblowers: Ignore Michael Douglas

2 March 2012

Who should a whistleblower see first: an attorney or the FBI?  Michael Douglas says the FBI.  Why would the FBI hire Douglas — who is not an attorney — to broadcast legal advice to whistleblowers?   Maybe because Douglas did such a great job convincing cinema audiences that he was Gordon Gekko.  Whatever their motives, Douglas […]

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PCAOB penalizes E&Y, partners over bad Medicis revenue numbers

13 February 2012

Lapdogs sometimes do bite.  (See important update below.)  In a strangely-worded February 8, 2012 disciplinary order, the PCAOB fined mega audit firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) $2 million while disbarring, censuring and/or imposing fines against four E&Y audit partners individually.  The key finding?  E&Y and its partners failed to properly evaluate the Dec. 31, 2005, […]

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Penn State whistleblower lessons: Beware of inhouse counsel!

3 February 2012

The Penn State sex abuse story grows more complicated by the day.*  The latest — involving the reportedly confused relationship between Penn State officers Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and former inhouse counsel Cynthia Baldwin — appeared yesterday at Pennlive.com and today at Law.com: When Tim Curley and Gary Schultz testified in the Jerry Sandusky child […]

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Judge Rakoff & the SEC: What a difference a judge makes!

3 February 2012

The law is the law, right?  So how much impact can a judge have on a whistleblower case?  Way more than most people imagine. Prospective whistleblowers — many of whom optimistically view “blind justice” in even-handed, rule-bound terms — tend to be unaware that judges can move a case as much as the law itself.  […]

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Is Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate really 44.75%?

30 January 2012

How much do private equity players really pay in income taxes?  Mitt Romney — the nation’s best-known PE man — says he pays about 15%.  While Romney’s 2010 (final) and 2011 (“in process”) tax returns seem to confirm his view, the reality (explained below) is more complicated. John Berlau and Trey Kovacs suggest in their […]

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Are Mormons really “forced” to pay tithing?

25 January 2012

In a word, no.  But CNN Religion Editor Dan Gilgoff is not one to let a simple “no” spike a profitable political story.  Gilgoff’s 4:50 p.m. Tuesday piece, “Romney tax returns shine light on Mormon tithing,” which attracted 1,067 comments by 6:38 a.m. Wednesday, misleads more than informs.  Among other misstatements by Gilgoff is the […]

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Carried Interest Canard: Romney’s Inane Bain Pain

23 January 2012

Time to blow the whistle on a bit of journalistic ignis fatuus.  Multitudes of marginally-informed pundits — none of whom has seen Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax returns and most of whom know nothing about income taxes — have had plenty to say about Romney’s reported tax rate of around 15 percent.  Beltway commentators […]

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