Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Equifax Panic, WilmerHale Leaks Secrets, Alere to Pay $13M

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

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Online thieves may be exploiting the Equifax panic, researchers say

The Equifax breach may have you watching your financial records closely for evidence of fraudulent new accounts or suspicious transactions. But you may also want to keep a close eye on your incoming email, researchers say - and here's why.

Since August, digital thieves have sent hundreds of thousands of phishing emails impersonating an alarming number of banking institutions, according to a report Thursday by the cloud security company Barracuda Networks. The fake emails pretend to be coming from major firms such as Bank of America, TD Bank and the Canadian bank CIBC. While the fake emails do not mean the banks themselves have been compromised, said Barracuda, the recent spike in bank-impersonation phishing attacks means consumers should be as vigilant as ever about email threats to their privacy and security in the wake of the Equifax breach. read more »

WilmerHale 'inadvertently' leaks Pepsi client secrets to Wall Street Journal

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has been caught up in an email mix-up that revealed secret US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and internal investigations at PepsiCo, after a WilmerHale lawyer accidentally sent a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter privileged documents detailing a history of whistleblower claims at the company.

The internal investigation revolves around PepsiCo’s 2011 acquisition of Russian drinks company Wimm-Bill-Dann and the departure of general counsel Maura Smith in 2012 following allegations of financial misreporting and other wrongdoing at PepsiCo. A subsequent SEC investigation into Smith’s dismissal, and whether the company fired her in violation of whistleblower laws, is “at an early stage,” the WSJ reported. read more »

Alere to pay more than $13 million to resolve SEC probe

Alere Inc has agreed to pay more than $13 million to resolve charges the diagnostic testing firm committed accounting fraud and made improper payments to foreign officials, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday. read more »

RBS, Nomura Can’t Shake $806M Mortgage-Fraud Judgment

Upholding a scathing mortgage-fraud ruling Thursday, the Second Circuit touted the application of a law passed after the Great Depression against companies that contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown.

“This case demonstrates the persistent power of the Securities Act’s full‚Äźdisclosure requirement in the context of the Great Recession,” the 147-page opinion states.

Nomura Securities International and RBS Securities had ventured to the Manhattan-based federal appeals court after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote slammed the financial-services companies for misrepresentations about mortgage-backed securities.

“The offering documents did not correctly describe the mortgage loans,” Cote wrote in May 2015. “The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous.” read more »