“…a unique legal media relations consultancy…”
Law.com, Legal Technology

Winning legal PR strategies for plaintiff and defense with three-plus decades of unique news media experience on all sides of civil and criminal matters. America's whistleblower lawyer's PR expert, Richard Lavinthal is a former U.S., Department of Justice, and N.J. Division of Criminal Justice spokesman, NYC-based news organization director, N.J. statehouse international wire service and AM newspaper reporter. Visit Lavinthal.com.

Selected major-case breaking and feature legal news crafted by Lavinthal, who has crafted and then executed breaking news strategies for billions of dollars of settlements, criminal and mass tort and other cases.

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About Richard Lavinthal and PRforLAW, LLC


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December 2012

Key Amgen Whistleblower Goes Undercover for HHS;
She Makes 13 Secret Recordings in Five States
for Special Agents; Her Evidence, Recorded Admissions
in Off-Label and Pricing Schemes Central
in Government’s $762 Million Global Settlement

Philadelphia, December 19, 2012 –Amgen used illegal interlocking off-label marketing and pricing schemes to promote its multi-billion dollar anemia drug Aranesp. “It really was an ingenious, comprehensive, and very well coordinated series of marketing schemes that unfortunately endangered patients while enriching doctors for writing off-label prescriptions. There is no doubt that the schemes were wildly successful and significantly spiked Aranesp sales.

“What Amgen didn’t know after it launched the Aranesp schemes was that our client, Jill Osiecki, a long-time marketing rep, recognized the danger to patients and, on her own, reported her concerns to the Government. Later, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Special Agents asked her to work undercover for them,” said qui tam whistleblowers’ attorney Brian Kenney, of Kenney & McCafferty, P.C.

Read the Amgen Settlement News Release

Read the Amgen Whistleblower's Personal Statement


December 2012

The Princeton Review Admits NYC After-School
Tutoring Fraud Charges, Falsifying Attendance,
According to Manhattan-Based Qui Tam
Whistleblower Attorney Timothy J. McInnis, Esq.

New York City –The Princeton Review received millions of federal dollars for operating an after-school tutoring program for underprivileged students at underperforming schools by falsifying attendance – which continued even after its vice president in charge was alerted to the fraud – Princeton Review’s owners admitted today by settling fraud allegations, Qui Tam Whistleblowers’ Attorney Timothy J. McInnis announced.

For 46 months ending in June 2010 Princeton Review falsely billed the United States under the Supplemental Educational Services (“SES”) program. They submitted falsified attendance sheets, which included forged signatures, according to the Settlement Agreement among the United States, which filed its own fraud Complaint, the qui tam whistleblower represented by McInnis, and the corporate owners of Princeton Review.

Read the Princeton Review Settlement News Release


Doo-Wop DJ Lee, “Mister Lee” Jolles Dies; Philadelphia
Businessman, Record Collector and Rock-and-Roll Group Harmony
Expert Was Known Across U.S. From His Weekend Radio Show

PHILADELPHIA -- Businessman, DJ, and doo-wop group harmony champion Lee, “Mister Lee” Bain Jolles, 66, died July 10th.

A lifelong lover of the distinctly American rock-and-roll genre, Jolles owned a well-known Philadelphia cheesesteak eatery; headed the Philadelphia Group Harmony Association (PGHA) and produced sell-out oldies shows for the association for two decades. In 1986 he became DJ, “Mister Lee,” at a small Delaware Valley non-profit FM radio station whose weekend doo-wop listenership exploded coast to coast thanks to Internet streaming.

Read the Lee, "Mister Lee" Bain Jolles Obituary
Further Information: Bottom of Page Two for "Lady M" Contact Info.

Editor's Note: For some reason Mister Lee's death has not been noted in Philadelphia-area or trade media. This release was a pro bono effort to honor his great Delaware Valley-and-beyond music legacy. "No question about that."


Corporate Compliance and the CIA

Attorney Lane Siesky, who rerpresented the realtor in the groundbreaking Oakland City University qui tam case, discusses Corporate Integrity Agreements ("CIA"), which now frequently accompany False Claims Act settlements. Siesky notes how CIAs could be avoided if entities doing business with the government actively pursued corporate compliance and made it a stand-committed and critical component of their businesses.

Corporate Compliance Insights features articles written by some of the most experienced complince and ethics professionals in the world and has been named one of the top destinations "where compliance pros connect online," according tothe Wall Street Journal's FINS.com.

PRforLAW, LLC saw a messaging opportunity and then was pleased to have worked with Siesky, and Corporate Compliance Insights, to develop this commentary, the first the online publication has presented on the subject. The publication reaches tens of thousands of professionals and features articles by attorneys and other experts from across the country.

Read Lane Siesky's Article
on CorporateComplianceInsights.com


GlaxoSmithKline’s (“GSK”) $3 Billion Whistleblower Settlement
Has Paid for One Of America’s Most Expensive Failed Corporate
Internal Investigations, Qui Tam Whistleblowers’Attorneys Say

Philadelphia, July 2, 2012 –GlaxoSmithKline has just paid for one of the most expensive failed internal investigations in corporate history, qui tam whistleblower attorney Brian Kenney said today. His law firm, Kenny & McCafferty, P.C., represents the two whistleblowers who sparked the nine-year federal probe that ended with today’s $3 billion payment to settle off-label drug marketing allegations involving nine prescription drugs and allegations of best price violations.

“When our clients were forced out of their marketing positions, GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) had proof of illegal off-label prescription drug marketing. Our clients properly reported those marketing misdeeds to management in 2001. An ensuing GSK internal investigation verified their allegations, but the company took no action, choosing hefty profits over compliance and patient safety,”said whistleblower attorney Tavy Deming of Kenney & McCafferty.

Read the Complete PRforLAW News Release
on this Kenney & McCafferty, P.C. Website


Hospital and Corporate Parent Pay $9 Million
To Partially Settle Medicare Fraud Case Alleging
Seven Years of False Billing for In-Patient Admissions Instead of
Observation Services and Out-Patient Treatments

Additional Qui Tam Whistleblowers’ Allegations
Still Pending Resolution, According to Manhattan-Based Qui Tam
Whistleblower Attorney Timothy J. McInnis, Esq.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex reI.
JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE Plaintiffs, v. AHS HOSPITAL CORP.,
ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., OVERLOOK HOSPITAL, et al.
U.S. District Court, Newark, NJ: Civil Action No. 08-2042 (WJM)

(SUMMIT, NJ) – Overlook Hospital and parent AHS Hospital Corporation which operates three north Jersey hospitals, have agreed to pay more than $9 million to the U.S. Government to partially settle Qui Tam Whistleblower allegations of Medicare fraud and false billing over a seven-year-period, according to attorney Timothy J. McInnis, of McInnis Law in New York City, (WhistleblowerLegal.com) who represents the two whistleblowers who brought the case on behalf of the United States in 2008.

As alleged in the Complaint which is being partially settled, AHS Hospital Corporation, Atlantic Health Systems, Inc., and Overlook Hospital (“AHS”) frequently billed Medicare Part A for services provided to elderly persons under more expensive in-patient billing codes. Instead, the care provided to these elderly patients should have been billed under less expensive “observation” or “out-patient” procedure codes, the Complaint states.

Read the Complete AHS $9 Million Qui Tam
Whistleblower News Release from McInnis Law

Read The AHS Whistleblower Complaint

Read The AHS Whistleblower Settlement Agreement


The IRS's $4.5 million, first-ever whistleblower reward (which PRforLAW, LLC publicized last year for a whistleblower attorney client) remains the only payment the Whistleblower Office has made in five-plus years. Today's Washington, D.C. Examiner print and online features a commentary asking what's wrong with the agency's Whistleblower Office.

"IRS keeps ignoring tax whistleblowers

The Obama administration is diverting half a billion dollars to the IRS for the new healthcare law this year, even though the Supreme Court has yet to decide if the legislation is constitutional. But why is the White House providing so much help for an agency that has failed to help itself?

Over the last five years, the IRS could have easily recovered $500 million in unreported corporate and personal income taxes under new whistleblower legislation that took effect in December 2006. Instead of shooting these easy fish in a barrel, the agency has floundered.

More than five years ago, Congress increased the rewards for blowing the whistle on tax cheats. "

Read the Washington, D.C. Examiner IRS Whistleblower
Office Commentary and Comments


Selected Major-Case Initiatives,
News and Information Released by PRforLAW, LLC


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Advertising alone won't do it. Savvy lawyers seeking to project their skills and their law firms above their competition understand know the local, regional and national newsmarketing power of best-practice legal media relations for important cases. It's what helps to make AmLaw 100 firms the big boys on the block.

Do you budget only for advertising? You miss a chance to leverage the marketing power of big cases to advance client advocacy, enhance law firm visibility, and increase attorney reputation.

Our brochure,"The Legal Lay-Off All Law Firms Need to Make, Even Solos" explains why Richard Lavinthal and PRforLAW, LLC should be your law firm's choice for outsourced per-case legal media relations. Call us for a copy.

 


IRS Pays CPA $4.5 Million, First-Ever Whistleblower Reward
Under New U.S. Law; In-House Corporate Accountant
At One Of Largest Financial Services Firms In U.S. Discovered
A $20-Plus-Million Tax Liability That Went Unreported

Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorney Eric L. Young
Plays A Key Role In CPA Client Winning
An Enhanced 22 Percent Whistleblower Award


BLUE BELL, Pa -- The IRS Whistleblower Office has paid its first whistleblower reward, more than $4.5 million in the first U.S. tax whistleblower case settled since rewards were mandated by Congress four-and-a-half years ago, whistleblower attorney Eric. L. Young, of Egan Young Attorneys At Law, announced today.

A CPA in-house accountant and auditor who discovered a $20 million-plus tax liability at a large national financial services firm, which the Fortune 500 company then declined to report, was given the third highest category of IRS whistleblower reward under the new law, 22 percent, Young said.

“This groundbreaking IRS $4.5 million reward originated like many of our government fraud whistleblower cases in healthcare, defense contracting, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and other sectors,” Young explained.

Read the Complete IRS Whistleblower Reward News Release


Egan Young Attorneys At Law
Eric L. Young, Esq.

Reference Website: www.First-Tax-Fraud-Reward.com

Egan Young Attorneys At Law Website: http://www.EganYoung.com


WikiLeaks versus whistleblowers
Daniel R. Miller

PHILADELPHIA – Despite thousands of recent print, broadcast and Internet reports about WikiLeaks, the renegade Web site's alleged whistleblowing activities and certain documents it has "published," qui tam remains the first name in whistleblower; "journalist" remains the first name in publishing; and Julian Assange is neither.

Under federal and state false claims acts, whistleblowers — known legally as "qui tam relators" from a Latin phrase first used in 13th century English law — reveal "inside" or otherwise secret information in an effort to expose corruption and fraud involving government purchases and contracts.

Read the complete Dan Miller OpEd on Law.com

Daniel R. Miller, Esq.
Berger & Montague, P.C.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Illegally Dumping 100 Million Pounds of Toxic
Coal Ash Waste Onto A Pristine Dominican Republic Beach,
U.S. Power Corporation Created A Genetic Time Bomb,
Mass Tort Complaint Alleges

First-Of-Its Kind Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of 11 Plaintiffs, Living
and Dead, Who Suffered Missing Limbs, Missing Organs, Central Nervous
System Injuries and Gastrointestinal Deformities; A Two-Headed
Siamese Twin Died Shortly After Birth

WILMINGTON, DE – One of the world’s largest power generating companies caused horrendous birth defects, lung injuries, and other acute and chronic medical problems from illegally dumping 100 million pounds of toxic coal ash onto a pristine Caribbean beachfront , according to a groundbreaking mass tort lawsuit filed late November 4th against Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corporation (“AES”). The eight-count lawsuit on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, living and dead, from the small rural village of Arroyo Barril in the Dominican Republic was filed in Delaware Superior Court. 

Two of the children died after birth from catastrophic birth defects.  Two boys survived: one with no arms; the other, born with his stomach outside his body, had to endure several surgeries.  Another child was found -- in utero -- to have massive cranial defects and had to be aborted, according to Diane Paolicelli, Esq. of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP in New York City.  Paolicelli, who leads the firm’s medical malpractice and catastrophic injury practice group, represents birth defect victims.

News Release | Complaint

from the Law Offices of
Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, New York City
The Law Office of Robert T. Vance, Jr., Philadelphia
Bifferato LLC, Wilmington, Delaware


Wired Undercover by FBI, Whistleblower Helps Government
Recover a Total of $25 Million Today, Resolving Defense Contracting Fraud,
Defective Pricing Allegations Against Aerospace Contractor

MPC Products Corporation and MPC International “Reverse
False Claimed” Government Contracts; Overcharged for Critical
F22 Parts, Among Many Schemes, Complaint Alleges;
MPC Pays $22.5 Million to Settle Civil Charges; Related
Criminal Charges Settled With $2.5 Million Fine

CHICAGO – Wired undercover by the FBI to help expose his employer’s pervasive, interlocking and sophisticated schemes of brazen accounting chicanery, a qui tam whistleblower ‘s efforts resulted in today’s agreement by aerospace contractor MPC Products Corporation and MPC International, Inc. (“MPC”) to pay $22.5 million to the federal government.  The settlement resolves procurement fraud allegations that the Department of Defense (“DOD”) was falsely billed over seven years, according to a Complaint filed under seal in 2003 by whistleblower lawyer Mark Allen Kleiman of Los Angeles, and employment lawyer Dennis R. Favaro of Palatine, Illinois.

Skokie-based MPC, acquired in October 2008 by Woodward Governor Co. and renamed Woodward MPC, Inc., will pay a total of $25 million to the United States, which includes $2.5 million in fines in related criminal prosecution, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. 

Read the complete News Release and the unsealed Complaint
from the qui tam Law Offices of Mark Allen Kleiman
and the employment law offices of Dennis R. Favaro


Law firms with big cases, especially small to mid-size practices
should capitalize on the "news marketing" value of litigation-specific Web sites, Richard Lavinthal writes for American Legal Media's
Law.com Legal Technology

Back when legal marketing meant hanging shingles and Yellow Pages ads for potential new clients to let their "fingers do the walking," reporters turned the pages of phone books, directories and the newsroom Rolodex to locate and contact attorneys.

But once high-speed Internet became ubiquitous in homes and offices, the analog age ended. Conventional shingles and finger walking are now passé. The Internet is now the starting point for every journalist and nearly three-quarters of Americans who seek information, goods or services, including legal services

Read The Complete "Web Sites on the Case"
in Legal Technology on Law.com


Pfizer’s $2.3 Billion Settlement Today Is
Largest Pharmaceutical Qui Tam Settlement in History and
Includes Allegations of Illicitly Promoting Antibiotic
As Clinically Superior When Its Own FDA-Approved Label
Said Otherwise; First-Ever Qui Tam Whistleblower Settlement of Its Type

PHILADELPHIA– Pfizer Inc. ignored a 2005 FDA Warning Letter to stop promoting its antibiotic Zyvox® as clinically superior to the significantly less expensive, generic vancomycin when its own FDA-approved label indicated otherwise.   The drug giant also defrauded federal and state taxpayers by marketing Zyvox off-label, according to a qui tam whistleblower complaint filed by Sheller, P.C. attorneys and other documents unsealed with today’s $2.3 billion Pfizer settlement.

Read The Complete News Release
From Stephen A. Sheller, Esq. of Sheller, P.C.

 


Richard Lavinthal's Legal News and Media Relations Newsletter

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  • The media contact for the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey, and a politically manufactured flap; why an official written statement could help in sensitive or politically driven matters

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Half-Billion-Dollar-Plus Settlement, America’s Biggest Government Medicaid False Claims Case, Began With Whistleblower’s Allegations of Improper Speech Therapy Billing By One Upstate New York County, New York City-Based Whistleblower Attorney David A. Koenigsberg Reveals

SYRACUSE, NY — When New York State and City agreed on July 20th to repay the federal government nearly $540 million to settle whistleblower-sparked Medicaid false claims allegations, it ended a lone whistleblower’s long struggle to correct speech therapy billing problems in an upstate New York county and across the state.  When improper billing wasn’t corrected, the whistleblower sued on behalf of the federal government under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), New York City qui tam whistleblower attorney David A. Koenigsberg of Menz Bonner & Komar LLP revealed.

“The information and cooperation that my client provided led directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ audits that ultimately confirmed the state-wide billing problems that are the subject of this historic settlement,” Koenigsberg said. 

“As a result, New York State and City agreed to pay the seventh largest whistleblower settlement in the largest government False Claims Act Medicaid case in United States history,” Koenigsberg added. “The value of whistleblower law in repatriating federal dollars back to United States taxpayers should be crystal clear.”

Read the Complete
Menz Bonner & Komar LLP News Release


Timothy J. McInnis, Esq. wins rare Third Circuit habeas writ
for businessman convicted of first-degree and felony murder
in New Jersey seashore double homicide 20-plus years ago

A unanimous three judge panel rules Ocean County
New Jersey Prosecutor's Office employed “rank speculation”
and not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict
the yacht-owning North Jersey businessman for his
alleged role in the highly publicized 1983 Jersey shore killings

PHILADELPHIA — After 10 years of consummate litigation attorney Timothy J. Mcinnis, Esq, has won a rare habeas corpus writ for his client, businessman Paul Kamienski, telling today's Asbury Park Press that “An innocent man is going to be released.”

Kamienski, who had business interests in North Jersey and Florida, was unjustly convicted of murder by the Ocean County, New Jersey, Prosecutor for his alleged role in a New Jersey seashore double murder in 1983. He has been imprisoned for more than 20 years under a 30-to-life sentence.

In its opinion issued yesterday, a unanimous three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit panel found insufficiency of evidence for the felony murder conviction stating, "...based on our review of the evidence, the picture is simply not there and its existence can not be inferred absent the kind of guesswork that due process prohibits. Indeed, we can not accept the state’s view of the evidence without choking all vitality from the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The government’s arguments to the contrary rely not on inferences but on speculation."

June 2, 2009 Update: Law.com, in its national legal bulletin sent to attorneys around the world today featured the New Jersey Law Journal article about this case.

Read today's Law.com Article
(Free Registration May Be Required)

Visit the litigation Web-site created by PRforLAW, LLC for this case at
http://www.ReleasePaulNow.com. It contains the Third Circuit opinion, our news release, filed documents, transcripts, recorded oral arguments, many photos of Kamienski, his own life story and a summary of the case. The site also includes frank HD video interviews with Kamienski shot on two occasions at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey where Kamienski is now being held. The three videos also are available on YouTube®.


$1.4 Billion Eli Lilly & Company Zyprexa® Settlement
Is Biggest Whistleblower Case In U.S. History

Philadelphia Attorney Stephen Sheller’s
Whistleblower Clients Help Government Recover
$1.4 Billion Record Settlement and Criminal Fine in
Eli Lilly & Company Zyprexa® Marketing Case

PHILADELPHIA – Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company (“Lilly”) will pay federal and state governments more than $1.4 billion to remedy a wide-ranging, off-label marketing scheme for its prescription drug, Zyprexa®.  This settlement is the largest qui tam settlement in the history of the False Claims Act.

Stephen A. Sheller, a well-known mass tort and class action lawyer from Philadelphia, filed the first Complaint in the case in February 2003, bringing the off-label drug allegations to the government under seal as required by law.  Today, after six years, the Department of Justice settled with Lilly the allegations that six former Lilly drug marketing representative whistleblowers brought to Sheller.

Read The Sheller, P.C. News Release


Uniquely Experienced Legal Public Relations Consultant
Executed Legal Media Relations For Three Of The Top 10
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Fraud Recoveries In Fiscal 2008

(PHILADELPHIA) ‑ A former journalist, federal and state prosecutors’ spokesman and online news editor set an enviable record recently when the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the top 10 civil fraud recoveries for Fiscal 2008.  Richard Lavinthal’s PRforLAW, LLC, a unique niche legal public relations consultancy, had crafted and executed legal media relations strategy for attorneys with three of the top 10 cases.

When the DOJ trumpeted $1.34 billion in FY2008 civil fraud settlements and judgments nearly half the total dollars recovered for federal and state taxpayers were from three separate cases in which PRforLAW developed and executed media relations strategy.  Six attorneys in five firms whose whistleblower clients helped recover more than $656 million had retained PRforLAW for case-specific legal media relations.

(More) 

Read The Complete Top Cases of FY 2008 News Release


International Association of Chiefs of Police
Official Monthly, Police Chief, Features
In-Depth Polygraph Article By internationally Known
Polygraph Expert Nathan J. Gordon

  

PRforLAW, LLC proposed to editors at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and author Nathan J. Gordon, Director of Philadelphia-based Academy for Scientific Investigative Training, an academic look at current truth detection options. Police Chief is the authority for federal, state and local law enforcement senior executives across the U.S., and around the globe.

Richard Lavinthal, PRforLAW, LLC Managing Director, has been an Associate Member of The International Association of Chiefs of Police Member for more than a decade, beginning when he left the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice to serve as Director of Criminal Justice Programs for APBnews.com in New York City.

Read "Today's Instruments for Truth Testing"


 



Philadelphia Inquirer Op Ed

Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorney Brian P. Kenney
Says Pennsylvania Taxpayers Are Missing Out
On Millions Without A False Claims Act

"Pa. can avert penalty with antifraud law"

As of January 2007, the federal government began penalizing states that had not enacted false-claims laws to combat fraud against their treasuries. The penalty is a 20-percent loss of reimbursements from Medicaid-fraud prosecutions under the federal False Claims Act. Because Pennsylvania does not have a state false-claims act, it gets a smaller share of fraud-prosecution proceeds than states that have such laws, potentially costing Pennsylvanians millions of dollars.

Not surprising, many more responsible state legislatures have passed false-claims acts. New Jersey, Delaware, New York and 17 other states have adopted such laws, avoiding the 20-percent penalty."

Brian Kenney's Op Ed

This Op Ed follows successful settlement of the government's $425 million Cephalon case (see below). The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of America's top 10 newspapers. Philadelphia is the fifth largest market in the U.S.


$425 Million Cephalon Civil Settlement, Criminal
Fine In America’s Largest Biotechnology Medicaid Fraud
Case; Philadelphia-Based Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorney
Brian P. Kenney, Esq. Filed First Complaint With Client’s
Off-Label Marketing Allegations In 2003

PHILADELPHIA – Biotech drug manufacturer Cephalon, Inc. (“Cephalon”) flouted federal regulations on a grand scale for years by off-label marketing its first three prescription drugs far beyond the cancer pain, epilepsy and narcolepsy specialists for whose patients those drugs had been FDA-approved.  Instead, Cephalon focused its national marketing muscle on unapproved uses, targeting medical specialists with bigger patient populations, according to a Complaint filed in 2003 by Philadelphia qui tam whistleblower attorney Brian P. Kenney, Esq.  The complaint was unsealed today with Cephalon’s $375 million nationwide Medicaid fraud settlement and $50 million corporate criminal plea.

Kenney, lead partner of Philadelphia-based, Kenney Egan, McCafferty & Young, P.C., represents whistleblowers across the U.S.  His whistleblower client is a former medical sales representative, area trainer and institutional representative for the Frazer, Pennsylvania-based drug manufacturer.  In 2003, on her behalf, Kenney brought qui tam whistleblower Medicaid fraud allegations against Cephalon to the government.

Cephalon $425 Million Settlement News Release

Kenney Cephalon November 2003 Complaint


Three Attorneys Who Represented Whistleblower In The $400 Million
February 2008 Merck Qui Tam False Claims Act Settlement
Are Named Lawyers of the Year for 2008
By The Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (“TAF”)

Attorneys And Their Whistleblower Client Also Donate $250,000
To TAF To Seed A New Endowment Fund For Additional Staff
To Advocate For Qui tam Federal And State Recoveries

WASHINGTON (Sept. 10) – Three nationally known qui tam whistleblower lawyers who represented a former Merck & Co, Inc. (“Merck”) district sales manager in a Medicaid fraud case that helped federal and state governments recover more than $400 million from the drug manufacturing giant in February were named 2008 Lawyers of the Year at the annual meeting of Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (“TAF”) here last night.

Whistleblower Lawyers of the Year News Release


CBS Evening News Features
Whistleblower Attorney Michael Behn
And The Walgreens $35 Million Settlement

Congratulations to whistleblower attorney Michael Behn, co-founder of Chicago-based Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered. The CBS Evening News of April 13th featured Behn and the Walgreens case in a three-minute "Follow The Money" feature hosted by Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Atkisson. The video report can be viewed on the Web site PRforLAW, LLC developed for three of Behn's cases, http://www.PharmacyFraudSettlement.com.

On June 4th the National Law Journal featured Michael Behn and the Walgreens case. (See June 4th below)


Walgreens Settles Drug Switching Allegations,
Pays $35 Million; Third National Pharmacy
Exposed By Pharmacist Whistleblower Whose
Qui Tam Actions Have Returned
$120 Million To Taxpayers

CHICAGO – Walgreens today became the third national pharmacy to settle drug switching allegations exposed by a whistleblowing veteran pharmacist whose actions have returned more than $120 million to federal and state governments.  The cases against three of America’s largest drug store chains were pursued by Chicago-based whistleblower attorneys Michael I. Behn and Linda Wyetzner under qui tam provisions of state and federal False Claims Acts.

Walgreens paid $35 million to 42 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to settle allegations it overcharged Medicaid by switching dosage forms in filling generic Prozac®, Zantac® and Eldepryl® prescriptions, according to Behn.

Read the Walgreens News Release

PharmacyFraudSettlement.com the litigation Web site developed with the attorneys from Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered for the CVS settlement was updated to include documents and information from the June 4th Walgreens settlement and the November 2007 and Omnicare settlement.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CVS, America’s Largest Pharmacy Chain,
Pays Nearly $37 Million to Settle Federal and State
Generic Drug Switching Charges

CHICAGO ‑ CVS Corporation, which claims to be America’s largest pharmacy chain, has paid nearly $37 million to settle the nation’s first retail pharmacy drug switching case.  CVS allegedly charged the government up to 400 percent more for Medicaid patients by illegally changing generic Zantac® prescriptions from tablets to higher priced capsules, according to a multi-state complaint pursued by whistleblower attorneys Michael I. Behn and Linda Wyetzner.

Reporters / Editors : Visit the reference Web site developed for this case, containing filed documents, allegations and information about the importance of pharmacy whistleblowers at http://www.PharmacyFraudSettlement.com.

Read the CVS Medicaid Fraud News Release

Visit the PharmacyFraudSettement Web Site


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

$30.3 Million Jury Verdict Believed To Be New Jersey’s Largest Mesothelioma Award; Family Members’ “Take Home” Asbestos Fibers and 50-Year-Old Victim’s Own College Summer Employment At GM Facilities In Bloomfield and Englewood Caused Cancer That Killed Rising-Star Advertising Executive, According To Mesothelioma Attorneys Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Deadly “take home” asbestos fibers on work clothes his father and brother wore while employed at GM parts warehouses in Bloomfield and Englewood, and exposure to the carcinogenic material during his own GM summer employment caused the death of a 50-year-old rising star advertising executive, a Bergen County jury ruled yesterday.  The wife and three daughters of Mark Buttitta, who died four days before Christmas 2002, will receive $30.3 million in what is believed to be New Jersey’s largest mesothelioma verdict, the mesothelioma law firm of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP announced.

Read The Buttita News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 7, 2008

Merck Pays More Than $400 Million To Settle
Federal, State Medicaid Fraud Investigation Sparked By
Qui Tam Whistleblower Case Detailing Marketing Schemes
For Vioxx®, Zocor®, Several Other Drugs

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the world’s largest drug manufacturers, Merck & Co., Inc. (“Merck”), has agreed to pay more than $400 million to the U.S., 49 states and the District of Columbia to settle qui tam whistleblower-led allegations that the pharmaceutical giant illegally defrauded Medicaid and other public healthcare programs across the U.S., according to a federal Settlement Agreement unsealed today. Merck employed four schemes to grab or maintain market share for drugs including Vioxx®, Zocor®, Cozaar®, Fosamax®, Maxalt®, and Singulair®, according to qui tam whistleblower lawyers Steven H. Cohen, Mark Kleiman and BethAnne Yeager, who represent the whistleblower, a former Merck district sales manager.

Reporters / Editors : The complete reference Web site for this case is at http://www.DrugFraudSettlement.com.

Read The $400 Million Settlement News Release

Visit the DrugFraudSettlement Web site


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