March 20, 1998 |
Thirteen months ago, the U.S. Justice Department publicly praised Robert Merena for his "cooperation and support" in helping the government collect the largest settlement ever involving a whistle-blower lawsuit. Yesterday, a government attorney tried to paint Merena as an opportunist who came forward in 1993 only after watching a television news show that described the case, and only after learning of a government subpoena for evidence. Merena denied seeing the show or knowing about the subpoena.
July 19, 1996 |
A federal judge has tossed out the case of a would-be whistle-blower who accused Delaware County officials of defrauding the federal government of at least $1.4 million by failing to return funds owed to an anti-poverty program. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas N. O'Neill Jr. dismissed the suit last Friday as "parasitic" - saying that because the "essential elements of the alleged fraud" had already been reported in newspaper articles, their revelation was not the work of a whistle-blower.
March 2, 2000 |
A federal appeals court yesterday threw out $42.3 million of the $52 million awarded to three whistle-blowers who helped the government investigate its fraud case against pharmaceutical giant SmithKline Beecham, ruling that the trial judge failed to show why the three deserved the largest whistle-blower award in history. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously vacated the $42.3 million awarded by U.S. District Judge Donald VanArtsdalen in April 1998 to three men: Robert J. Merena of Berks County, a former billings systems analyst at SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories headquarters in Collegeville; Charles W. Robinson Jr., a former physician and medical director of SmithKline's clinical laboratory in San Antonio, Texas; and Robinson's lawyer, Glenn Grossenbacher, who initially filed the whistle-blower action under his name to protect Robinson's identity.
March 16, 1997 |
Daina Merena met her husband at the front door as he was coming home from work. "You can't go back," she told him. With that, Robert Merena's nine-year career at SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories abruptly ended - and an odyssey that would thrust his family into financial and emotional chaos began. There would be no office good-byes, no cleaning out his desk, no completing half-finished projects. On that day in March 1995, after a year and a half of living a lie, Rob Merena was about to be exposed as a corporate whistle-blower.
April 16, 1997 |
The head custodian at Bensalem High School who claimed he was reprimanded and threatened after reporting wrongdoing to authorities has been awarded $817,500 in compensatory and punitive damages by a federal jury. Michael J. Vearling, 42, had sued the Bensalem School District and several administrators claiming he was retaliated against in 1993 and 1994 in violation of the First Amendment and the state's Whistle Blower statute, which protects public employees who report waste or wrongdoing to their employers or appropriate authorities.
February 5, 1998
Whatever the distant thunder from defense contractors and health-care heavyweights whose apparent aim is to have Congress gut the federal whistle-blower act, there's a threat to this potent antifraud weapon that's much closer to home. It comes, oddly, from some people who ought to be whistle-blowers' best friends - meaning, federal prosecutors who resist the payment of fair and timely rewards to citizens whose whistle-blower tips help the U.S. Treasury reap millions in fines. A case in point is the Reading-area man, Robert J. Merena, who's trying to claim his fair share of the $325 million fine levied last year against SmithKline Beecham for Medicare fraud.
February 4, 2001 |
Three years after New Jersey ended its takeover of the Camden Parking Authority, the agency is under scrutiny again - this time by the state Attorney General's Office. State prosecutors have subpoenaed hundreds of pages of financial documents from the authority, which oversees parking meters and lots. The request includes bids, lease agreements, ledgers, canceled checks, and travel and entertainment bills dating to 1995. The subpoena, a copy of which The Inquirer obtained, was issued after a former authority employee and a suspended employee filed a lawsuit against the agency, its executive director, Anthony Scarduzio, four former and current members of its Board of Commissioners, and several employees.
February 1, 1998 |
When the federal government collected a $325 million fine from SmithKline Beecham last year for Medicare fraud, the Department of Justice praised whistle-blower Robert Merena as crucial to the case. It was the largest settlement ever following a whistle-blower lawsuit. And it came about, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia said at the time, in large part because Merena, a former SmithKline employee who lives near Reading, was willing to live a cloak-and-dagger existence for a year and a half, working at the company while secretly providing information to the government.
May 14, 2013 |
A federal investigation of a Kensington charter school has not made headlines since a TV station showed video of agents carting off boxes of documents in 2009, but the probe is very much alive. Attorneys for Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School in a whistle-blower's lawsuit stemming from the raid have urged a Common Pleas Court judge to keep the suit on hold because "it is beyond refute that the federal criminal investigation" of the charter is active. As evidence, Community submitted an affidavit from an administrator's defense attorney that said the assistant U.S. attorney overseeing the probe told him in mid-March "the investigation is ongoing.
August 19, 1987 |
The Whistle Blower warns that, despite the promise of glasnost, the menace of East-West cloak-and-dagger lurks in every rat hole. But for a political thriller that aims to be a parable of paranoia, this alarmist British film is a humdrum affair, distinguished only by Michael Caine's steely presence as Frank Jones, whose son may have been murdered by British Intelligence. One of many flaws of The Whistle Blower, a film with more plot than developments, is its sheer shapelessness.