When Lance Armstrong used banned substances to win the Tour de France, he violated the False Claims Act, which imposes legal liability on those who commit fraud against federal programs. The reason his actions violated the False Claims Act is that he had received a $32.3 million sponsorship from the U.S. Postal Service during six of his victorious tours.
Earlier this summer, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a proposal that would give it greater discretion when making awards to people who blow the whistle on securities violations under the Dodd-Frank Act. Allowing it to offer larger awards in small cases would foster compliance in the industry, the agency says. It would pay for the increases by cutting into the very large awards paid out in a handful of cases each year.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Insys Therapeutics, Inc., has tentatively agreed to settle allegations by the U.S. Justice Department that it paid kickbacks to doctors in order to get them to prescribe its drug Subsys. The drug is an under-the-tongue spray containing the opioid fentanyl, which is some 100 times stronger than morphine. Subsys was intended to manage pain in cancer patients.
Calling it a "transformative year" for its whistleblower program, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced recently that it has awarded whistleblowers more than $45 million in rewards for identifying illegal activity. This is a dramatic increase over prior years.
It was recently reported that a former employee of Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., blew the whistle on that company's sales of defective Zylon bulletproof vests to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies through the Justice Department's Bulletproof Vest Partnership program and contracts with the General Services Administration. Unfortunately, according to the DOJ, these vests lost their ballistic capability when they were exposed to heat and humidity.