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Whistleblower News: Abbott & BNSF Retaliation Cases

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team


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Big Wall Street Banks See Chance to Weaken Post-Crisis Rule

The first significant bipartisan attempt to alter rules established after the 2008 financial crisis is turning into a battle on Capitol Hill, as some of the biggest Wall Street banks seek to weaken a crucial requirement aimed at ensuring that they can withstand financial losses.

The Senate plans to vote this week on a bill aimed at allowing hundreds of smaller banks to avoid some of the stricter federal rules ushered in as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, while leaving the toughened regulatory regime largely intact for the nation’s biggest banks.

But a little-noticed provision, which creates a small exemption to a capital requirement meant to prevent banks from running into the same type of financial crunch that helped tip the economy into the Great Recession, is being seized on by major banks including Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. They are pushing to expand the exemption in a way that analysts and former government regulators say would undermine a central pillar of the Dodd-Frank law. read more »

Court of Appeals upholds $1.25M verdict against BNSF for terminating whistleblower

9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 2015 jury verdict awarding $1.25 million to a railroad whistleblower who claimed he was fired after reporting safety concerns. read more »

SEC can recoup ill-gotten gains from New Mexico businessman: U.S. appeals court

A federal appeals court on Monday ordered a New Mexico businessman to disgorge $5 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, nine months after the U.S. Supreme Court curbed the regulator’s power to claw back ill-gotten gains.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rejected Charles Kokesh’s claim that the SEC deserved to recoup nothing because it waited until after a five-year statute of limitations ran out to sue him.

Kokesh was accused of looting investor money from companies he controlled to pay salaries, bonuses, rent and other expenses, and enabling him to fund a lavish lifestyle, court papers show.

By a 3-0 vote, the appeals court rejected Kokesh’s argument that because each type of misappropriation had begun by 2001, the SEC missed the five-year deadline by waiting until October 2009 to sue.

The appeals court agreed with the SEC that the clock restarted each time Kokesh converted funds improperly. read more »

Abbott loses bid to toss part of whistleblower retaliation case

A federal judge has rejected Abbott Laboratories Inc’s bid to narrow a lawsuit by a former employee who said the drugmaker fired her for complaining about what she said were illegal promotional practices at the company.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston on Thursday rejected Abbott’s bid to dismiss Ebonia Elliott-Lewis’ claim under Massachusetts state law that the drugmaker wrongfully discharged her in violation of public policy. read more »