Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: SEC Investigates PepsiCo Lawyer, AmerisourceBergen Pleads Guilty, AnMed Health Resolves False Medicare Claims Allegations

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

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SEC Probes Departure of PepsiCo's Former Top Lawyer

Federal securities regulators are investigating an allegation by PepsiCo Inc.'s former top lawyer that the company fired her in retaliation for the way she handled an internal probe into potential wrongdoing in Russia, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents.

Maura Smith, who was PepsiCo's general counsel from May 2011 to June 2012, oversaw outside lawyers hired by the company to dig into business practices at Wimm-Bill-Dann, a big Russian maker of dairy products and juices that PepsiCo spent about $5 billion to acquire in 2011, the documents show. read more »

AmerisourceBergen pleads guilty over syringes, to pay $260 mln

A unit of AmerisourceBergen Corp, one of the largest U.S. drug wholesalers, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to selling pre-filled syringes of cancer drugs prepared in ways that violated federal rules, agreeing to pay penalties of $260 million.

AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group pleaded guilty to selling misbranded drugs in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a misdemeanor, before U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in Brooklyn.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, which brought the criminal charge, also intends to pursue civil claims under the False Claims Act, the company said in August. Under the act, the government can recover taxpayer money paid out based on fraudulent claims. read more »

AnMed Health settles false Medicare claims case

AnMed Health in Anderson has agreed to pay more than $7 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false Medicare claims, the U.S Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

The settlement resolves allegations that AnMed Health knowingly disregarded the statutory conditions for submitting claims to Medicare for radiation oncology, emergency room and clinic, among other services, the office said.

The allegations stemmed from a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Georgia by Linda Jainniney, a former AnMed employee, under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which empowers private citizens to bring suit on behalf of the government for false claims and share in any recovery. read more »

Two Men Charged in Bribery Scheme Related to Korean Base Relocation

A former contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Far East District (FED) and a former officer in the Korean Ministry of Defense (MOD) were indicted for their roles in a scheme to direct over $400 million in Department of Defense (DOD) construction contracts to a large multinational corporation based in the Republic of Korea in exchange for over $3 million in bribes. read more »  

Afren bosses charged with $400m fraud that 'triggered collapse' of oil explorer

The former leadership of Afren have been charged with a $400m (£300m) fraud that allegedly led to the collapse of the former FTSE 250  oil explorer.

Osman Shahenshah, Afren’s former chief executive, and Shahid Ullah, who served as chief financial officer, are due to at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday to face claims they abused their positions and laundered money.

The charges come after a two-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The Telegraph revealed in April that Mr Shahenshah was among the targets of a criminal probe of an offshore vehicle that it is claimed distributed large bonus payments from Oriental Resources, an Afren partner in Nigeria.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the allegedly fraudulent system was set up  set up to enrich Afren’s leaders after the company suffered a series of shareholder revolts over executive pay. read more »