Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Madooff, GE, Opioids, Cryptocurrency, Kickbacks

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

08/16/2019

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The man who blew the whistle on Bernard Madoff

Harry Markopolos spotted Bernard Madoff's $65bn Ponzi scheme years before it imploded. He tells the Guardian how he lived in fear of his life while trying to convince the world

In a small Massachusetts town, American fund manager Harry Markopolos lived in fear of his life. For three years, he carried a Smith & Wesson revolver, checked under his car for bombs and avoided walking along dark shadowy streets. A self-confessed maths geek, he had unravelled the secret of Wall Street's biggest conman.

A belatedly celebrated whistleblower who was ignored by everybody, Markopolos tried, umpteen times, to raise the alarm about Bernard Madoff's $65bn (£43bn) Ponzi scheme which imploded at the end of 2008, leaving thousands of charities, hedge funds, pensioners and Hollywood stars bereft of billions of dollars. Dismissed as a misguided obsessive until Madoff's eventual confession, he became increasingly anxious for his safety.

A quantitative financial specialist with an instinct for the numbers behind complex derivatives, Markopolos smelt a rat about Madoff Investment Securities as far back as 1999 when his boss at Boston-based Rampart Investment Management asked him to create a product that could provide similarly stellar returns to the astonishingly consistent numbers produced by Madoff. read more »

Famed Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos could make millions from his claims General Electric is committing fraud

Harry Markopolos, a whistleblower on the Madoff ponzi scheme, has the potential to make millions from his recent call that General Electric has committed billions of dollars in accounting fraud.

The former financial executive is reportedly working with an undisclosed hedge fund that's betting GE's share price will drop, and Markopolos has an agreement to receive a portion of the trading profits, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Markopolos' group has also sent its 175-page report to securities regulators in the hope of claiming a cash reward through a government whistleblower program. read more »

A Secret Opioid Memo That Could Have Slowed an Epidemic

A confidential government document containing evidence so critical it had the potential to change the course of an American tragedy was kept in the dark for more than a decade. The document, known as a “prosecution memo,” details how government lawyers believed that Purdue Pharma, the maker of the powerful opioid, OxyContin, knew early on that the drug was fueling a rise in abuse and addiction. They also gathered evidence indicating that the company’s executives had misled the public and Congress. read more »

IRS Sends Second Round Tax Warnings to Cryptocurrency Investors

Some cryptocurrency investors are receiving a new round of letters from the Internal Revenue Service telling them that their federal tax returns don’t match the information received from virtual currency exchanges, a new front in the agency’s burgeoning scrutiny of the industry.

The letters acknowledge that trading exchanges, not the taxpayers, may have made the errors.

The letters are a fresh signal that the IRS is increasing its focus on cryptocurrency tax compliance, after first being slow to stay abreast of the growing industry. read more »

Teva settles multibillion-dollar drug kickback case ahead of trial

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has agreed on the eve of trial to settle a multibillion-dollar whistleblower lawsuit alleging it paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe its Parkinson’s disease drug Azilect and multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone.

Teva late on Wednesday said it had reached an agreement-in-principle to resolve a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court by two ex-employees alleging the drugmaker paid doctors to act as speakers at events in order to sway them to prescribe its drugs. read more »