Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
A recent New York Times article discusses individual criminal prosecution and barring pharmaceutical executives from taking part in Medicaid and Medicare programs as more effective means of reforming the industry. The article states that
"...to institute real change, executives must be prosecuted criminally or barred from participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, an action known as 'exclusion.'
This has occurred in only a handful of cases, and rarely in a case involving a major pharmaceutical company. In 2011, four executives of the medical device company Synthes were sentenced to less than a year in prison for conducting clinical trials that were not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration."The GlaxoSmithKline settlement involves a “corporate integrity agreement,” which places emphasis on the role of individual company leaders in illegal activity and punishes their involvement. Part of this agreement is an “executive financial recoupment” program that calls for the withdrawal of bonuses and other financial incentives when executive and/or their employees are found guilty of participating in unethical or illegal behavior.
Phillips & Cohen attorney Erika Kelton, who represented two key whistleblowers in the Glaxo case, approves of this agreement as a step in the right direction. Kelton says that this “creates pressure and it creates an element of responsibility."
For more information on the role of whistleblowers in the GlaxoSmithKline settlement, please visit http://www.glaxowhistleblowers.com/.
Friday, August 3, 2012
The EU Taxation and Customs Union memo also noted that efforts should encourage tax compliance, though offered no specific strategy to do so.
EU member countries would benefit from adopting whistleblower programs that reward and protect whistleblowers, similar to those in the U.S. The U.S. has four major whistleblower programs: one handled primarily by the Justice Department, and more recent ones with the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These programs have been critical tools to fight tax fraud in the United States.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, health care providers may apply for Medicaid funding whether or not they owe federal taxes. Critics recommend implementing stricter requirements for obtaining Medicaid funding from the government, while others claim that such restrictions might discourage upstanding providers from seeking participation in the program, according to the Washington Post.
The GAO report recommended the IRS review its policies for collecting taxes and find more efficient ways to obtain owed funds from Medicaid providers.
One of the most successful ways the government recovers money lost to fraud is through whistleblowers, who have helped the U.S. reclaim about $30 billion. However, the IRS has yet to take full advantage of its whistleblower program, according to attorney Erika Kelton, and would do well to explore the potential of that program.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan has charged three Swiss bankers -- who sought to scoop up former UBS clients -- with conspiring to hide more than $1.2 billion in assets for U.S. clients from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The indictment of the Swiss bankers lays out a simple business plan: The three bankers – Michael Berlinka, Urs Frei and Roger Keller – wanted to capitalize on the IRS investigation of Swiss bank UBS and another large international Swiss bank. To capture the business of those fleeing UBS and the other bank, they allegedly told U.S. clients that their bank wouldn’t disclose its clients’ identities to the U.S. because it had a long tradition of bank secrecy and “was less vulnerable to United States law enforcement pressure because, unlike UBS, the bank did not have offices outside Switzerland,” the indictment says.
The indictment doesn’t identify the bank Berlinka, Frei and Keller worked for, but Reuters reported they worked for Wegelin & Co., one of Switzerland’s oldest private banks.