Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Data Breach, Covidien, Goldman

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team


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Data breach may have exposed the personal, medical information of 600,000 in Michigan

The personal information and medical data of more than 600,000 people in Michigan may have been compromised in a cyberattack, the state’s attorney general said Monday.

Hackers may have accessed the names, addresses, social security numbers and medical information of customers of several Michigan healthcare companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan and McLaren Health Care, Dana Nessel said.

The business that hackers targeted, Wolverine Solutions Group (WSG), a healthcare company that partners with health plans and hospital systems, said that it has begun notifying clients whose information was compromised by the breach. read more »

Covidien to Pay Over $17 Million to The United States for Allegedly Providing Illegal Remuneration in the Form of Practice and Market Development Support to Physicians

Covidien LP has agreed to pay $17,477,947 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by providing free or discounted practice development and market development support to physicians located in California and Florida to induce purchases of Covidien’s vein ablation products, the Department of Justice announced today. 

The settlement resolves allegations contained in lawsuits filed by Erin Hayes and Richard Ponder (former sales managers for Covidien) and Shawnea Howerton (a former employee of one of Covidien’s customers), which are pending in federal court in San Francisco, California.  The lawsuits were filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the United States for false claims and to share in any recovery.  Mr. Hayes and Mr. Ponder will receive $3,146,030 as their share of the federal recovery. read more »

2 Former Goldman Executives Barred From Banking Amid Malaysia Fraud Scandal

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday banned two former Goldman Sachs executives from working in the banking industry because of their roles in a multibillion-dollar fraud involving a Malaysian government investment fund.

One of the executives, Tim Leissner, who was one of Goldman’s top investment bankers in Asia, has pleaded guilty in a federal criminal investigation of the fraud. The other man, Roger Ng, has been charged in the United States with participating in money laundering and bribery. read more »

Sackler Family Money Is Kicked Out of Hildene Capital Hedge Fund

The billionaire Sackler family, which controls beleaguered OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, has been expelled from hedge fund Hildene Capital Management.

Hildene is returning Sackler family money, a spokeswoman for the firm confirmed on Friday. She declined to elaborate on the decision.

Hildene, which manages about $10 billion, told the family of the decision late last year, the Wall Street Journal reported on March 7. In a statement to the newspaper, Hildene hedge fund manager Brett Jefferson said that "an opioid-related tragedy affected someone with a personal relationship to me and other members of Hildene," and that "the weight on my conscience led me to terminate the relationship." read more »

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma loses bid to delay opioid epidemic trial

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and two other drugmakers on Friday lost a bid to delay a landmark trial set for May in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit by Oklahoma’s attorney general accusing them of helping fuel an opioid abuse and overdose epidemic in the state.

Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The epidemic has prompted lawsuits by state and local governments accusing Purdue and other drugmakers of contributing to the crisis through deceptive marketing that downplayed the risks of addictive opioids. read more »

SEC Share Class Initiative Returning More Than $125 Million to Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against 79 investment advisers who will return more than $125 million to clients, with a substantial majority of the funds going to retail investors.  The actions stem from the SEC’s Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative, which the SEC’s Division of Enforcement announced in February 2018 in an effort to identify and promptly correct ongoing harm in the sale of mutual fund shares by investment advisersread more »