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IRS Accuses Deutsche Bank of $190 Million Abusive Tax Shelter Whistleblower Rewards for Information about Banks Peddling Phony Tax Shelters [Post updated and rewritten January 2021] Back in 2014 we announced that the IRS and Justice Department had filed a civil suit against Deutsche Bank seeking to collect $190 million in taxes. The government accused the German bank of using shell companies in a complex abusive tax shelter scheme. The lawsuit comes on the heels of $554 million criminal penalty paid by the bank in 2010. That case accused the bank of helping individual customers commit evade taxes through the…
Were You Sold Unsuitable Investments by a Wedbush Securities Stockbroker? We first began writing about Wedbush Securities in 2011. Back then, a headline indicating that Wedbush was ordered to pay $3.5 million to one of its own former employees. The amount alone was enough to warrant some investigation. It turns out that Wedbush has a long and sordid history with regulators. One that continues through today. In the 2011 case, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel ordered Wedbush to pay a former employee $3.5 million in back pay. Perhaps more telling, the panel called Wedbush’s actions towards its…
If the figures coming from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) are correct, the number of fraud actions involving victims over the age of 50 is staggering.  We don’t have 2020 data yet and with COVID, we expect 2020 will be another record breaking year for fraudsters. Sadly, regulatory agencies only have enough resources to investigate a small percentage of the reports that come in each year. And even fewer people report the crime. For each case prosecuted, many others are not investigated or even reported. Often older victims are too embarrassed to report that they were the victims…
Wells Fargo Advisors has repeatedly been caught pushing unsuitable investments on their clients. One would think that after all the scandals that have engulfed the beleaguered bank, senior management would start taking their customers more seriously. Our first post on Wells Fargo selling unsuitable investments was in 2011. It’s now 2021 and we are still re-writing this post. In 2011, we first wrote that Wells Fargo’s brokerage arm agreed to pay $2 million to settle charges that one of its brokers sold unsuitable investments to clients in their 80’s and 90’s. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) claimed Alfred Chen…
This Is a Scene No One Wants to See Yet a Doctor in Florida Pleaded Guilty to Performing Medically Unnecessary Heart Procedures in a Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud Scam It’s Christmas Day and here I am writing about one of the most twisted Medicare fraud scams to date. A doctor in Tallahassee, Florida pled guilty on December 18th to performing unnecessary heart procedures. When I was a prosecutor, we didn’t like proceeding with major felony cases between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s not that folks received a pass during those weeks, we just waited until after the holidays. That isn’t the…
LPL Financial In Trouble… Again. If You Lost Money Because of the Misconduct of an LPL Advisor, We Can Help You Recover Your Hard Earned Money [Updated through 2021] LPL Financial is certainly not a bucket shop or “boiler room” in the tradition of the Wolf of Wall Street and Stratton Oakmont Securities but lately, its beginning to behave like one. An industry leader with over 16,000 representatives,  LPL is a big brokerage firm with offices throughout the United States. Recent enforcement actions targeting the company suggest that it may growing too big to properly manage and supervise. Brokerage firms…
Exploding Takata airbags are old news. There is evidence that Takata knew that certain of their airbags were 6 times more likely to fail. In 2004, the company ran secret tests after an airbag exploded spewing deadly shrapnel into a driver’s face. We can give the automakers a pass until this point. There is evidence that a Takata engineer, wrote an internal email that says, “Happy Manipulating!!!” The email references airbag safety test results. In another email he talks about methods of “dressing” up bad test data. But maybe the car companies didn’t yet know back then. But the free…
Do I have to pay tax on my whistleblower reward? That is a question we almost always hear after one of our clients is successful in a whistleblower action. And because we are fraud lawyers –  not tax lawyers – we always help our clients find a good tax lawyer in case they don’t already have a CPA. The IRS says rewards are taxable but a few courts take a different opinion (and that is why we always help our clients find someone qualified to answer.) The answer should be the same anywhere in the United States but it’s not.…
How Shell Companies Are Used to Conceal Fraud Most whistleblower rewards are paid to those reporting frauds against the government. Unless that fraud involves a pharmaceutical giant (Medicare fraud) or big defense contractor, the typical reward is modest. By modest we mean under $1 million. We still love those cases and have dedicated our careers to chasing down fraudsters of all sizes. Like a winery with a special reserve cellar, we have a second tier of whistleblower cases, the cases that typically pay rewards in excess of $1 million. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (foreign bribery), FIRREA (bank fraud) and SEC…
The late physicist Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest people in the world, openly worried that robots could “spell the end of the human race.” Yet despite those fears, our society continues to march towards more automation. Self driving cars are here. Amazon is already testing pilotless drones to deliver packages. Passenger planes without pilots are already possible (yet not in production for fear that few would board one.) What’s next? A robot lawyer! A robot lawyer? Yup, it’s here and now it’s being sued for not obeying the law. You can’t make this up. DoNotPay Inc offers the “world’s…
Mahany Law Announces Addus HomeCare Wage Theft and Employment Investigation Are or Were You an Employee of Addus Home Care and Aware of Fraud (Including Wage Theft)? We Want to Speak with You – Confidentiality Assured Addus HomeCare promotes itself as one of the largest home healthcare providers in the United States. With 189 locations and 33,000 employees, they are certainly big. According to their website, “Patient-focused and innovative, we are always looking for top talent – in direct care, skilled care and leadership. Great opportunities await!” From what we hear, their employment opportunities are anything but great. Our employment…
Countries with the Highest Rates of Bribery of Government Officials Have Info on Foreign Bribery? Uncle Sam Is Interested and Pays Huge Rewards for Information Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977. That law prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. The FCPA applies to prohibited conduct anywhere in the world and extends to publicly traded companies and their officers, directors, employees, stockholders, and agents. Agents can include third parties such as consultants. Another feature of the law requires companies to maintain accurate books and records and have a…
The insurance world is quickly becoming online. While most towns still have a local State Farm agent, you are more likely to see dozens of insurance apps and Internet advertisements. Many of these sites and apps advertise they can find you the best price on a wide variety of insurance products including life, car and home insurance policies. According to J.D. Power, about 75% of people seeking insurance now shop online. How many people have heard the radio commercials for Big Lou or social media ads for price comparison apps like Gabi and the Zebra? While on some apps…
How to Stop Nuisance Calls in Texas How to Stop Those Annoying Telemarketers and Get an Award of Monetary Damages Too (Texas Robocall Lawyer Post) Americans received 58.9 billion robocalls  last year. And that total is up 22% from the year before!  President Trump signed into law the TRACED  Act in late December 2019 that gives greater enforcement power to the FCC but thus far, we haven’t seen a big decrease in illegal telemarketing calls. And the state that receives the most spam and unsolicited calls? Texas (actually California has the dubious honor of being tied for first). Those calls…
Dr. Javaid Perwaiz Faces 465 Years in Prison after Jury Convicts Him in Case Involving Medically Unnecessary Hysterectomies (Booking Photo) We get a chill up our spine when people say Medicare fraud is a victimless crime. It’s not just taxpayers that get ripped off. Very often patients are harmed by the very doctors they trust with their care. In this post we examine a 70 year old obstetrician-gynecologist now facing 465 years in prison after performing dozens of medically unnecessary surgeries… surgeries that are also irreversible. Dr. Javaid Perwaiz is a long time physician in the Hampton Roads area of…
Lawyers Get $3M From $9.5M Settlement Over Unwelcome Sales Calls by Charles Toutant | New Jersey Law Journal (79K) The risk of establishing liability and damages favors settlement because of the defendant’s argument that it did not use an automated telephone dialing system, the court said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to consider this term what constitutes such a system, resolving a split among the circuits. Lawyers for the class were awarded $3 million, and class members get $75.30 each, in a $9.5 million settlement of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act suit against Freedom Mortgage of Mount…