IRS-Whistleblower-Building-Washington-DCToday, the U.S. Department of Justice officially dismissed their appeal of case Whistleblower 21276-13W and 21277-13W v. CIR, Case Nos. 17-1119 and 1120 (D.C. Cir.), marking a big win for IRS whistleblowers. Below is a statement from the whistleblowers’ attorneys.

The law firms of Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav, PC (ZMF); Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto (KKC) and Robert Amsel, Esq. are pleased to announce today a key victory for tax whistleblowers with the filing of a joint stipulation for dismissal of the government’s appeal in the cases of Whistleblower 21276-13W and 21277-13W v. CIR, Case Nos. 17-1119 and 1120 (D.C. Cir.). The case was scheduled for oral argument on April 9, 2018 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  It had pitted the U.S. Department of Justice and IRS against two whistleblowers whose information has led to $54.131 million in criminal penalties and civil forfeitures awarded against a major Swiss bank.  The DOJ and IRS were arguing that the tax whistleblower law did not apply to criminal tax cases that resulted in payments of fines and civil forfeitures.

Continue Reading DOJ Drops Case, IRS Whistleblowers to Receive $12.9 Million Award from Criminal Prosecution of Swiss Bank

DOJ withdraws appeal in criminal tax whistleblower case; whistleblowers to obtain US$12.9 million award

WASHINGTON, D.C. | MARCH 29, 2018—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today will dismiss an appeal filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) challenging the right of whistleblowers to obtain a financial reward based on disclosing information that results in the criminal prosecution of tax evaders. The case concerned a major international financial institution that was sanctioned for illegally assisting U.S. citizens in evading taxes. The IRS had initially denied an award to the two whistleblowers.  The whistleblowers challenged the denial in Tax Court and prevailed.  However, the DOJ and IRS challenged this finding in the Court of Appeals. Today, at the request of DOJ, that appeal will be dismissed, and the two whistleblowers will become the first persons to obtain a whistleblower reward based on a criminal tax prosecution.

Continue Reading Historic Win for Tax Whistleblowers at International Financial Institutions

Attorney General Sessions Condemns Companies That Sell Defective Equipment to First Responders

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release late today announcing a settlement in a 13-year long False Claims Act case. Toyobo Co. Ltd. of Japan and its American subsidiary, Toyobo U.S.A. Inc., f/k/a Toyobo America Inc. (collectively, Toyobo), have agreed to pay $66 million to resolve claims under the False Claims Act that they sold defective Zylon fiber used in bullet proof vests that the United States purchased for federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.  Continue Reading Bullet-Proof Vest Qui Tam Case Settles

In a memo dated January 29, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed Department of Justice (DOJ) heads to not communicate with “senators, representatives, congressional committees, or congressional staff” without first consulting with the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA).

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a long-time advocate for whistleblower rights, has expressed his concern regarding the legality of the Attorney Sessions’ memo. In his response letter, Grassley writes that the memo “does not appear to comply with existing law.” In particular, it infringes on the rights of DOJ employees to “make protected disclosures directly to Congress.”

Continue Reading Sessions’ Memo To DOJ Threatens Whistleblower Rights

A January 10th memo released by the Department of Justice states that attorneys should consider dismissing “meritless” and “parasitic” whistleblower cases filed under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA allows citizens to sue on the government’s behalf, should they report evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse of taxpayer dollars. Whistleblowers (called “relators” in this context), who file qui tam lawsuits under the FCA, are eligible to receive monetary rewards from the funds recovered.

Continue Reading DOJ Recommends Dismissing “Meritless” Whistleblower Cases

As a young attorney, Jeffrey Wertkin joined the Department of Justice where he investigated and litigated False Claims Act cases filed by whistleblowers. After six years fighting fraud for the government, working side by side with whistleblowers, Wertkin made the jump to the prestigious corporate law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Continue Reading Former DOJ Lawyer Goes Rogue, Turns Criminal

Last week, the Department of Justice announced that it collected $3.7 billion in settlements and judgements from False Claim Act (FCA) cases against the government in 2017. The FCA is a statute that allows individual whistleblowers, called relators in this context, to file lawsuits on behalf of the government.

Known as Lincoln’s Law, the FCA was originally passed in the Civil War when avaricious contractors supplied the Union with faulty weapons and failing supplies. Over the last decade, FCA cases filed have grown in number and become one of the government’s premier tools for policing corporate fraud.

Continue Reading Whistleblowers Save Taxpayers $3.4 Billion

October 12, 2016. Washington, D.C. Monday, the National Whistleblower Center and FBI whistleblowers Fred Whitehurst, Jane Turner, Mike German and Robert Kobus (Amici) filed an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The brief was filed in Parkinson v. Department of Justice in support of John C. Parkinson, a former FBI special agent and Iraq war veteran. Continue Reading FBI Whistleblowers Ask Federal Circuit to Uphold Whistleblower Protections for FBI Employees

Washington D.C. October 9, 2016.  Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (Och-Ziff), A New York-based alternative investment and hedge fund manager, agreed to pay a combined total amount of U.S. criminal and regulatory penalties of approximately $412 million to settle charges it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In separate announcements yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) each described the actions of Och-Ziff which led to the charges the company violated the FCPA. Continue Reading Och-Ziff Hedge Fund Pays Over $400 Million to Settle Foreign Bribery Charges

Washington, D.C. June 22, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in a pending False Claims Act case, U.S. ex rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., No. 04-0280 (D.D.C.), setting forth the DOJ’s official position on the impact of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision announced last week in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 579 U.S. ___, slip op. No. 15-7 (June 16, 2016). In its filing today, the DOJ argues that the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Escobar discussion that a contractor’s “misleading half-truths” to the government “unequivocally supports the United States’ argument” in the Westrick case that Toyobo Co. Lt. and Toyobo America, Inc. (collectively Toyobo) “had a legal duty to disclose” its knowledge that the degradation of Zylon bullet-proof vests that it sold to the government “contradicted Toyobo’s misrepresentations about the superiority” of those vests. Continue Reading Justice Department’s First Public Statement on Supreme Court’s Unanimous Escobar Decision Slams Toyobo’s “Half-Truths” in Pending False Claims Act Whistleblower Suit