Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Capital One, Mylan & Teva, False Claims Act

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team


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The Exxon Valdez of cyberspace

If data are the new oil, data breaches should be treated like oil spills

In 1989 the thin-hulled Exxon Valdez supertanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, pouring a quarter of a million barrels of oil into the surrounding waters. At the time, it was America’s worst offshore spill, and a huge blow to the reputation of the ship’s owner, Exxon. The firm paid $3bn to clean up the area and settle legal claims, and to improve safety the American government ordered the phasing out of single-hull ships such as Exxon Valdez. All vessels used worldwide by Exxon’s corporate descendant, ExxonMobil, are now double-hulled. But that is not all. The disaster gave rise to a cultlike culture of discipline within ExxonMobil that helped turn it into the profitmaking beast it is today.

Three decades later, as a result of a relentless surge in cybercrime, digital firms are floundering towards their own Exxon Valdez moment. The latest is Capital One, a big American bank with a market capitalisation of $42bn, which on July 29th revealed that a hacker had stolen personal and financial details of 106m credit-card customers and applicants. Prosecutors allege that over four months Paige Thompson, a 33-year-old software developer, infiltrated a Capital One server hosted on Amazon’s cloud-computing platform through a misconfigured firewall. Bizarrely, the bank did not notice even after the hacker pseudonymously boasted about the heist on social media—until it was tipped off. For a company hitherto seen as one of the most technologically adept in finance, this is a blow. read more »

U.S. lawmakers push Mylan, Teva over drug pricing probe

The head of the U.S. House of Representative’s oversight panel on Wednesday called on three drugmakers to turn over documents as part of an ongoing congressional review over generic drug price increases and accused the companies of “apparent efforts to stonewall” the probe.

Mylan’s shares fell 7.7% to $18.20 and Teva’s U.S.-listed shares slid 8% to $6.48 in late-morning trade.

Mylan denied obstructing the inquiry and said it was prepared to make its case in a court of law, while Teva said it continues to fully cooperate with the investigations. read more »

Massachusetts Construction Management Company, Owner, Pay $1.3M to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

U.S. Attorney John H. Durham and officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. General Services Administration today announced that Classic Site Solutions, Inc. and its owner, Cheryl Sady, have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States in which they will pay $1.3 million dollars to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act. read more »