Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: American Airlines, Endo, JP Morgan, Volcker Rule, Ponzi

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

08/21/2019

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American Airlines Inc. Agrees To Pay $22 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

The Justice Department announced today that American Airlines Inc. has agreed to pay approximately $22.1 million to resolve its alleged liability under the False Claims Act for falsely reporting the times it transferred possession of United States mail to foreign postal administrations or other intended recipients under contracts with the United States Postal Service.

USPS contracted with American Airlines to take possession of receptacles of United States mail at six locations in the United States or at various Department of Defense and State Department locations abroad, and then deliver that mail to numerous international and domestic destinations.  To obtain payment under the contracts, American Airlines was required to submit electronic scans of the mail receptacles to USPS reporting the time the mail was delivered at the specified destinations. The contracts specified penalties for mail that was delivered late or to the wrong location. Today’s settlement resolves allegations that scans submitted by American Airlines falsely reported the time it transferred possession of the mail. read more »

Drugmakers Endo, Allergan agree to $15 million in settlements in major opioid case

Endo International Plc (ENDP.O) and Allergan Plc (AGN.N) have agreed to pay $15 million to avoid going to trial in October in a landmark case by two Ohio counties accusing various drug manufacturers and distributors of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The tentative deals disclosed on Tuesday came ahead of the first trial to result from 2,000 lawsuits pending in federal court in Cleveland largely by local governments seeking to hold drug companies responsible for the deadly epidemic.

Endo announced said it had reached an agreement-in-principle to pay Cuyahoga and Summit counties $10 million to and provide them up to $1 million worth of two of its of its drug products free of charge. read more »

Another ex-JP Morgan precious metals trader pleads guilty to ‘spoofing,’ is cooperating with Feds

A former J.P. Morgan precious metals traders pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal charges of manipulating the precious metals markets for nine years.

Christian Trunz, 34, of London is cooperating with an ongoing federal criminal investigation.

The Justice Department is conducting multiple criminal investigations into big banks with the cooperation of traders who have pleaded guilty to spoofing-related crimes. read more »

Wall Street is moving closer to a Volcker Rule win

Wall Street is moving closer to scoring a major victory after regulators moved closer to scaling back the Volker Rule, a regulation born in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.

On Tuesday, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting signed off on Volcker Rule reforms, setting the stage for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s vote later in the day. The reform is expected to pass through four more regulators in the days and weeks ahead.

The Volker Rule is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, born under former President Barrack Obama in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and is designed to prevent banks that received federally insured deposits from proprietary trading, or making speculative short-term trades with their own capital. read more »

Co-founder of bogus green energy firm gets jail time for $54M Ponzi scheme

A former Temple University student was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for her role in a $54 million Ponzi scheme where investors poured their money into a bogus Main Line green energy company that she co-founded.

Amanda Knorr, 35, of Hellertown, Pa., received the prison sentence late Friday after pleading guilty to wire and securities fraud for what prosecutors have called the biggest scam involving clean energy in American history.

Knorr and co-defendant Troy Wragg formed Mantria Corp. shortly after their time at Temple University where they met and began dating. The company operated out of Bala Cynwyd and claimed to sell real estate and “green energy” products, like biochar – a form of charcoal produced by plant matter. Prosecutors said the biochar was never actually in production.

Four years after starting Mantria in 2005, the duo had raised $54 million from more than 300 investors, most of who were recruited by Colorado-based financial advisor Wayde McKelvy’s “Speed of Wealth” seminars. Prosecutors said the seminars advised potential investors to liquidate other assets, like their retirement accounts, and put the money into Mantria. read more »