As the month of March draws to a close, the Whistleblower Advocates of Kang Haggerty LLC were excited to see many of the valued contributions of women whistleblowers recognized as part of Women’s History Month celebrations. We join with many of our Taxpayer Against Fraud (TAF) colleague law firms in commemorating female whistleblowers who courageously transcend systemic biases to combat fraud.
We recognize just a few of the many women whistleblowers making a difference:
Kathy Ormsby was hired as a project manager at Sutter Health in 2013 to overlook Medicare Part C programs. Ormsby soon realized that many doctors were improperly trained to bill Medicare correctly and prepared an audit team to correct fraudulent billing practices. In 2015, Ms. Ormsby filed a False Claims Act Complaint alleging that Sutter Health knowingly submitted false, inaccurate, and unsupported medical diagnosis codes that inflated Sutter’s reimbursements from the Medicare Advantage Program. The U.S. Government intervened in Ms. Ormsby’s 2015 False Claims Act Qui Tam Action. In August 2021, Sutter Health settled the case and paid $90 million.
Elin Baklid-Kunz worked for over 15 years in financial compliance roles at Halifax Health, a hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida. While working at the hospital, Baklid-Kunz began to notice and record a referral scheme that the hospital orchestrated. She filed a lawsuit under the Federal False Claims Act in 2009. Baklid-Kunz prevailed and was awarded $20.8 million.
Alayne Fleischmann was an associate attorney for JPMorgan Chase and oversaw mortgage quality assurance. Amid the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, Fleischmann noticed that JPMorgan Chase was selling below-standard mortgages and inflating their value to investors. JPMorgan Chase was held accountable, paying a $9 billion settlement.
Erika Cheung was hired after graduating from UC Berkeley as a lab assistant at Theranos, the $10 billion biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes. Cheung was one of the instrumental whistleblowers who exposed Theranos and Holmes’ unethical practices, which led to Holmes being sentenced to 135 months in prison for defrauding investors.
Bonnie Raines, a Philadelphian, blew the whistle on the FBI after she and her late husband, with six others, infiltrated an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. The group blew the whistle on the practices employed by J. Edgar Hoover against anti-war protestors by leaking the documents they obtained to the American press. Raines was a part of the anti-Vietnam War effort and helped form a group called the “Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI.”
Amy Farrow, a Delaware County woman, worked at NP Precision. This military contractor conducted more than $30 million in business with the U.S Government. Farrow worked for the company as an administrative assistant in 2010 and was promoted to office manager in 2011 when she began noticing fraudulent billing practices. Farrow noticed and recorded how NP Precision CEO Kenneth Narzikul was falsifying records and billing for things that were never ordered or completed to embezzle money into his own private companies. When Narzikul noticed Farrow’s documentation of his fraudulent actions, he demoted her and began phasing her out of her position. Narzikul pled guilty to embezzling over $1.2 million in progress payments paid to NP Precision by the federal government.
The attorneys of Kang Haggerty are proud to acknowledge and thank all the courageous female whistleblowers that have worked hard to combat and report fraud. If you believe that you have a potential whistleblower case, please contact The Whistleblower Advocates for a FREE consultation.