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The Texas Lawyers Blog provides useful information on the law and Texas lawyers. For more information on this Blog or a legal topic, please feel free to submit an inquiry or send an e-mail message to blog@texaslawyers.com

Thursday, February 16, 2012

China Import Export Bribe Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, China Customs Illegal Kickback Informant Reward Lawsuit, & China Illegal International Trade Bounty Action Information by China International Business Bribe Bounty Lawyer, China Import Export Bribe Lawyer, and China Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violation Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

China Import Export Bribe Lawsuit, China Business Bribe Bounty Reward Lawsuit, China Customs Illegal Kickback Informant Reward Lawsuit, & China Illegal International Trade Bounty Action Information by China International Business Bribe Bounty Lawyer, China Import Export Bribe Lawyer, and China Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violation Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Foreign multinational corporations investing in the People's Republic of China and Chinese multinational corporations investing in other countries can often be held accountable when they violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery laws.  These laws prevent government corruption including illegal payments to customs agents, bribes for construction contracts, illegal kickbacks for regulatory approval, and other illegal business practices.  Through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), whistleblowers are encouraged to step up and confidentially report corruption.  Under new whistleblower protections, these Chinese whistleblowers and multinational corporation whistleblowers can confidentially report violations through a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Lawyer and receive large financial rewards for being the first to properly expose significant government corruption. 
 
China's Emerges as an Economic Superpower through International Trade, Modernizing Chinese Ports & Distribution Systems, Logistics Parks, and Allowing Foreign Investment

The People's Republic of China (PRC) has a population of over 1.3 billion and is the most populous state in the world.  The Communist Party of China governs the People's Republic of China and exercises control over 22 provinces (23 provinces if Taiwan is included), five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau. Because of this government control of Chinese industries, bribery of Chinese officials, Chinese government bribes, and illegal kickbacks to Chinese customs agents and Chinese regulatory agents are more common. 
The capital city of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is Beijing.  Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world's fastest-growing major economy.  Since the 1980s, the People's Republic of China has used international trade and foreign investment to emerge as an economic superpower.  From 2001 to 2010, China's international trade imports and exports increased from about $500 billion per year to approximately $3 trillion per year.  A large part of this rapid expansion can be attributed to foreign direct investment that has surged into China.  As of 2012, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has become the world's second-largest economy by both nominal GDP and purchasing power parity (PPP), and is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.

China has spent large amounts of money to construct and modernize approximately 160 Chinese ports including about 50 coastal ports and 110 inland river ports. These ports are an essential part of the development of China's massive import and export international trade.  By investing billions of dollars in these ports, China had been able to drastically increase the total handling capacity of harbors along China’s coast as well as continuously expand its import and export businesses. 

The Modernization of Chinese Ports & Distribution Systems by Allowing Foreign Investment has Greatly Expanded China's Ability to Import and Export Goods as well as Develop Manufacturing Industries

This Chinese import and export network is formed around three major harbor areas: 1) The Bohai Sea area of northern China (including Beijing) is serviced by the ports of Tianjin, Dalian and Yantai; 2) the Yangtze River Delta area includes the ports of Shanghai and Ningbo; and 3) the Pearl River Delta in southern China includes the ports of Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. These ports have experienced tremendous growth and expansion over the last decade and have helped China increase its international trade.

To help develop Chinese ports, the Chinese government has encouraged foreign direct investment into port modernization programs.  By bringing in foreign investments including resources and technology, the Chinese government has been able to successfully expand international trade including imports and exports.  Through liberalization of foreign investment restrictions in the modernization of Chinese ports, the Chinese ministries have been able to improve international trade and port logistics  including in the areas of transportation, freight forwarding, storage, warehousing, and port management.
China's largest and busiest ports include Port of Hong Kong, Port Shanghai, Port of Shenzhen, Port of Guangzhou, Port of Qingdao, Port of Dalian, Port of L├╝shunkou, Port of Jiuzhou, Port of Suzhou, Port of Xiamen, Port of Ningbo, and Port of Tianjin.  This thriving network of Chinese ports have seen modernization and logistical technology used to greatly increase China's ability to import and export goods leading to economic prosperity.

However, with this expansion on imports and exports has come fierce competition for Chinese business and huge profits that can be obtained through government corruption and illegal bribes.  These violations include violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by Multinational Corporations, their wholly owned subsidiaries, joint venture partners, and agents.  These complicated business structures commonly create elaborate bribery schemes to obtain and retain Chinese business including bribing public officials and customs agents to circumvent container certification, legal customs, import requirements, and other legal requirements.  These illicit payments are often paid through an elaborate kickback scheme where employees and agents of large multinational corporation or their wholly owned subsidiary falsely characterize illicit payments to public officials as commissions or other expenses.  Many of these illicit payments are made through foreign banks and are actually kickbacks paid to government officials.

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There is a worldwide effort by the international community to crack down on government corruption, illegal kickbacks, and illegal bribes.  This effort includes initiatives by the United States to identify and prosecute illegal bribery schemes of government officials.  To identify hard to detect bribery schemes, the United States Securities Exchange Commission is offering large bounties (whistleblower rewards) for persons with specialized knowledge of systematic bribes and complicated bribery schemes.  These large economic incentives are designed to encourage import export experts, customs experts, logistics experts, and other persons aware of complicated import and export bribes and government fraud to step up and become a confidential import export bribe whistleblower, customs fraud whistleblower, logistics whistleblower, and other international trade whistleblower. 

The United States Bounty Actions are set up under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The FCPA applies to “issuers” (U.S. and foreign companies listed on U.S. securities exchanges and their employees); “domestic concerns,” which run the gamut of business entities organized under U.S. laws or with their principal place of business in the United States; the officers, directors, employees, and agents of those U.S. business entities (irrespective of nationality); U.S. citizens; U.S. resident aliens; “any person,” including all foreign persons, who commit an act in furtherance of a foreign bribe while in the United States, and U.S. businesses and nationals acting abroad. A Company must require all of its affiliated companies and all of their employees to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Recovery Lawsuits Recover Billions by Medicaid Drug Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer, Medicaid Price Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer, Drug Formulary Fraud Lawyer, & Medicaid Drug Kickback Whistleblower Lawyer

The Federal Government and Several States Including Texas Are Making Large Recoveries Through Medicaid Drug Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuits and Medicaid Drug Price Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuits by Medicaid Drug Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer, Medicaid Price Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer, Drug Formulary Fraud Lawyer, & Medicaid Drug Kickback Whistleblower Lawyer

In January 2012, the State of Texas and a Medicaid drug marketing fraud  whistleblower squared off against Johnson and Johnson, Inc. and several related companies in Travis County District Court.  In the case, the State of Texas alleged that the large drug company systematically targeted the Texas Medicaid System and fraudulently misrepresented their drug, Risperdal, with false and misleading marketing information.  Further, that the defendants intentionally targeted opinion leaders in the medical community with financial incentives and misleading information in an effort to have the drug placed into treatment guidelines, model state treatment programs, formularies, Texas Vendor Drug Programs, and the Texas Medicaid preferred drug lists.

Attorneys for the State of Texas and Medicaid Marketing Fraud Whistleblower argued that they had reviewed millions of documents and could prove that the large drug company intentionally pushed Risperdal as a safer alternative to the typical medications despite rulings from the Food and Drug Administration that these assertions were not supported by scientific research.  Further, that the defendants orchestrated a fraudulent marketing scheme to seed medical literature with misleading information and influence key medical decision makers to increase Risperdal in the Texas Medicaid Program as well as used this information to push their drug as the established treatment in state Medicaid programs throughout the United States as well as in the Federal Medicare program.

As a result of this Texas lawsuit, the drug maker, Johnson and Johnson, Inc., agreed to settle the Texas Medicaid fraud case for $158 million.  Johnson and Johnson, Inc. has also agreed to a settlement where the drug company will will pay more than $1 billion in civil and criminal penalties to the federal government and individual states to settle an investigation into the marketing practices of its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.  Johnson and Johnson, Inc. has also been hit in Medicaid fraud cases in South Carolina and Louisiana and was ordered to pay more than $250 million each.


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In a recent Medicaid Drug Fraud Whistleblower lawsuit, the Texas Attorney General Office argued that Johnson and Johnson, Inc. fraudulently manipulated the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) in order to establish their drug as the standard of care in the medical industry included getting the drug placed on Medicaid Preferred Drug Lists, Hospital Formularies, and other standards of care.  TMAP is a decision-tree medical algorithm that was designed as a basis for psychiatric management guidelines for doctors treating certain mental disorders within Texas' publicly-funded mental health care system, along with manuals relating to each of them.  By fraudulently manipulating the Texas Medication Algorithm Project, drug companies can push their drug as the established treatment and reap huge profits from state Medicaid programs, Medicare, and insurance policies.

These fraudulent Medicaid drug marketing schemes can be extremely hard to identify as the drug manufacturers typically have large and sophisticated marketing and research departments filled with public relations experts and backed by huge resources to use to push a drug.  Through these experts and sophisticated marketing techniques, the drug manufacturers are able to seed medical research, manipulate decision makers, hire experts to support their research, and target government health care programs.  These marketing schemes are designed to expand drug sales beyond FDA approved uses into off-label uses and to avoid scrutiny of independent research.  

Further, these drug company marketing departments have also devised Physician and Medical Professional Profiling schemes that they can use to determine what best motivates a particular physician opinion leader and use this information combined with advanced marketing techniques to manipulate the well placed physician without the medical doctor even realizing that they are being manipulated.  These techniques include understanding that some medical doctors are research oriented while others are politically motivated, financially motivated, career motivated, or relationally motivated.  By understanding a medical doctor's predispositions, interests, and motivations, a drug company marketing department or medical device marketing department can use or manipulate a well placed medical doctor based on their profiled information and push opinion leaders in targeted medical communities and states to use a specific drug or medical device. 

As such, physician Medicaid fraud whistleblowers, drug company Medicaid fraud whistleblowers, neurologist Medicaid fraud whistleblowers, health care administrator Medicaid fraud whistleblowers, pharmacist Medicaid whistleblowers, and other medical professional whistleblowers are needed to blow the whistle on Billions of dollars in Health Care Fraud.    


Drug Company Influence on Standards of Care and Hospital Formularies Through Marketing Fraud, Fraudulent Research, and Manipulation

Many health care professions have become aware of the strong influence that drug companies now have in determining community standards of care for medication use in patients.  These drug companies push drug samples into many hospitals and often use powerful forms of manipulation including biased research, influencing key medical doctors, and kickbacks to get their drugs placed on hospital formularies. 

Because of the immense power and influence of drug companies, it is becoming common to have drug marketing executives and representative to be able to influence what drugs whole communities.  In many situations the drug companies are more powerful than individual doctors that are forced to follow hospital formularies.  This drug company manipulation of the medical community can be extremely dangerous because it takes important medical decisions out of the hands of individual medical doctors and allows the drug companies to push potentially dangerous drugs for off-label drug uses and in inappropriate situations. 

The drug industry's main goal is to make a profit.  Each drug company is trying to sell as much of their drug as they can regardless of the potential danger to patients or if there are cheaper more effective alternatives available.  If the marketing executives and drug representatives can get their drug placed on a hospital formulary or make it the standard of care in a community, they are able to make lots of money.  Once this is accomplished there are economic incentives to keep expanding the use of the drug to keep expanding off-label uses. 

Recently several large drug companies have been caught fraudulently marketing drugs for off-label purposes.  These drug companies have had to pay Billions of dollars for Medicare Marketing Fraud Off-Label Lawsuits, Medicaid Marketing Fraud Off-Label Lawsuits, and other health care fraud lawsuits.   Despite these large fines, Drug Companies have continued this practice because they are making profits of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars.


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State Attorney General Offices are also targeting retail pharmacy chains that seek to manipulate drug prices to their advantage.  These drug price Medicaid fraud whistleblower lawsuits include pharmacy chains that fail to perform required a drug utilization review and attempt to defraud government health care programs.  Many of these State Attorney General Offices are working with drug price fraud whistleblower Ven-A-Care.  This pharmacy drug price fraud whistleblower has been working on drug fraud cases since 1994 and has held state and federal governments recover more than $2 billion and has won roughly $380 million for itself in the process. 

On February 1, 2011, a Travis County, Texas jury found that a global pharmaceutical manufacturer had misrepresented drug prices to the state's Medicaid program and said the drug company should pay the state and federal government $170.3 million.  These Drug Price Medicaid Fraud Lawsuits are becoming more common as evidence is coming to light that the $700 Billion a year drug industry includes some large drug companies that are defrauding Medicaid, Medicare, the VA, Tricare, and other governmental benefit programs out of vasts amounts of money.

Several governmental officials have made it clear that those who defraud the Medicaid program, Medicare, the VA, Tricare, CHIP and other government benefit programs will be held accountable for their actions.  Recent changes in the False Claims Act and other Qui Tam laws have created stronger protections and economic incentives for whistleblowers with knowledge of drug price fraud and other forms of Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud.  As such, it is important for drug price fraud whistleblowers, pharmaceutical representative whistleblowers, medical device sales representative whistleblowers, drug marketing representative whistleblowers, and other drug executive whistleblowers to blow the whistle on drug fraud pricing schemes.

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For more on this topic, please go to the following webpages: Pharmacy Drug Price Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Pharmacy Inflated Average Wholesale Price Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Medicaid Fraudulent Drug Price Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Pharmacy Drug Price Kickback Whistleblower Lawsuit, Pharmacy False Price Information Lawsuit, and Pharmacy Employee Whistleblower Lawsuit Information and Medicaid Drug Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Medicaid Drug Price Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Medicaid Drug Formulary Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Targeted Medicaid Off Label Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit, Medicaid Formulary Drug Fraud Whistleblower, & Medicaid Drug Illegal Kickback Marketing Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit Information.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit Information by Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawyer, Medicare Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawyer, and Bounty Action Reward Lawyer Jason Coomer

Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, Medicare Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, Securities Fraud Whistleblower Reward Bounty Action Lawsuit, IRS Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, Defense Contractor Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, and other Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit Information by Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawyer, Medicare Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawyer, and Bounty Action Reward Lawyer Jason Coomer


Whistleblower Reward Lawsuits are the most effective method for identifying and preventing large scale fraud against the government, in financial markets, and in large corporations.  New whistleblower reward laws have harnessed the power of economic incentives by offering large monetary rewards to whistleblowers that properly report significant fraud.  These whistleblower reward laws have also increased whistleblower protections to prevent and punish retaliation against whistleblowers. 

Qui Tam Actions and Bounty Actions Create Economic Incentives through  Whistleblower Recovery Law that are Extremely Effective in Exposing and Preventing Fraud Against the Government as well as other Unlawful Conduct

Offering large financial awards and economic incentives to persons with knowledge of crimes and criminals including offering whistleblower rewards and whistleblower bounties have been an extremely effective method of identifying unlawful conduct, crimes, and criminals.  When the government offers the economic reward to private citizens for exposing fraud against the government, such actions are called "qui tam actions".  In these actions, the plaintiff is suing on their own behalf as well for the government and taxpayers.

The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act are based on the theory that one of the least expensive and most effective means of preventing frauds on taxpayers and the government is to make the perpetrators of government fraud liable to actions by private persons acting under the strong stimulus of economic benefit as well as patriotic duty, personal ill will, and/or strong personal ethics.

The strong public policy behind creating an financial reward for whistleblowers is that  the government would be significantly less likely to learn of the allegations of fraud, but for persons in certain positions with specialized knowledge of Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, defense contractor fraud, investment fraud, foreign business fraud, tax fraud, or significant fraud that has been committed. Congress has made it clear that creating these financial incentives is beneficial not only for the government, taxpayers, and the realtor, but is an efficient method of regulating government to prevent fraud and fraudulent schemes.

The central purpose of the qui tam whistleblower reward provisions of the False Claims Act as well as the IRS whistleblower reward, SEC whistleblower reward, and CFTC whistleblower reward bounty actions is to set up incentives to supplement government regulation and enforcement by encouraging whistleblowers with specialized knowledge of significant fraudulent schemes against the government and the public to blow the whistle on the fraudulent and criminal acts.

The more recent enactment of the financial fraud whistleblower reward laws are response to large scale fraud that almost collapsed the world financial markets.  These new bounty actions work under the same premise as extremely successful qui tam whisleblower reward laws.  By encouraging private citizens with specialized knowledge of financial fraud, the government is seeking to deter investment fraud, securities fraud, SEC violations, retirement fund fraud, corporate malfeasance, violations of the foreign corrupt practices act, and other forms of financial fraud by offering rewards or bounties to persons that properly expose this fraud.

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Under Federal law, whistleblower recoveries can come through four different whistleblower recovery laws.  The Federal False Claims Act is the oldest of the laws and under this law the Federal Government has brought in approximately $30 Billion.  Under this law successful whistleblowers have been awarded over $3 Billion and these whistleblower rewards are expected to continue to expand as many states are enacting their own false claims act laws.  The Federal False Claims Act was recently amended by the Federal Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) including expanding the reach of the Federal False Claims Act to include subcontractors working under a government contractor and other parties working with government contractors.  The Federal False Claims Act was also expanded protection for employee whistleblowers.   States have also been encouraged through economic incentives to enact their own Medicaid False Claims Act whistleblower recovery laws.  These state whistleblower recovery laws must be at least as strong as the Federal False Claims Act whistleblower reward laws for the state to receive the increased economic benefits from the Federal Medicaid Fraud Recovery Program.

Another Federal whistleblower recovery law is IRS Tax Fraud Whistleblower Reward Program under section 406 of the Internal Revenue CodeThis whistleblower recovery law includes significant economic incentives and protections for whistleblowers to encourage people with specialized knowledge of significant tax fraud to step forward and report the fraud.  These protections if used properly can protect whistleblowers from retaliation and allow whistleblowers to recover large amounts of money for being the first to properly report significant tax fraud.  
Two relatively new whistleblower recovery laws are section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act (SEC Whistleblower Bounty Actions), and section 23 of the Commodity Exchange Act (CFTC Whisteblower Bounty Actions).  These laws were passed in the wake of Financial Market Melt Down in 2008 and in response to massive fraud in the financial markets.  These whistleblower recovery laws are designed to encourage people with specialized knowledge of significant investment fraud, securities fraud, SEC violations, commodity futures fraud, violations of the foreign corrupt practices act, and other financial fraud.  These whistleblower reward laws were designed to protect whistleblowers that step up and blow the whistle on financial fraud.

Importantly, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the new SEC Whistleblower Incentive Program work together to reward whistleblowers with original and specialized knowledge and evidence of international business corporate bribery and illegal kickbacks.  These new international business whistleblower reward laws are part of a worldwide movement to expose and punish government corruption such as contract bribes, illegal kickbacks, and large scale international fraud.  These Foreign Corrupt Practices Act should help prevent government corruption in many countries including Russia, China, Mexico, and Brazil.

All of these whistleblower recovery laws have been recently passed or strengthened to provide additional protections and economic incentives to whistleblowers.  By contacting a whistleblower reward lawyer, a whistleblower can greatly increase their ability to make a recovery under these whistleblower recovery laws and use whistleblower protections to prevent or punish retaliation for reporting fraud.    

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For more information on whistleblower reward laws, please feel free to follow the above links in this post and/or the following link: Whistleblower Reward Laws.    

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mexican Oil Company PEMEX Will Probably Need Foreign Direct Investments to Stabilize Production, Resolve Environmental Issues, and Expand Deep Water Drilling Production by Texas Oil Company Foreign Corrupt Practices Bounty Action Lawyer, PEMEX Employee Confidential Whistleblower Reward Lawyer, and International Business Whistleblower Reward Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

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Mineral resources including oil and gas are owned by the Mexican government by constitutional law. Because of the government ownership of mineral interests, the energy sector including oil production and gas production is administered by the government with varying degrees of private investment. Mexico is the seventh-largest oil producer in the world. PEMEX is the public energy company that is in charge of administering research, exploration and sales of oil.  It is the largest company in Mexico, and the second largest company in Latin America after Brazil's Petrobras. 

Because of the Mexican tax system, PEMEX has limited resources to find new sources of oil or upgrade infrastructure.  It is estimated that the Mexican federal government takes over 90% of the national oil company PEMEX’s profits for the Mexican federal budget. For this reason PEMEX has been unable to maintain, upgrade, and/or expand its oil and gas production.  This failure to maintain and upgrade its oil and gas infrastructure has created declining production causing Mexico to slip from the sixth to the seventh largest producer of oil and gas.  It also has raised several environmental concerns with its onshore fields and pipelines as well as its plans to go into deep water drilling.  Though PEMEX claims most of its onshore problems are a result of vandalism, failure to properly invest in the Mexican petrochemical infrastructure is causing several issues.

To stabilize production output, the Mexican government and PEMEX are planning to move into deep water drilling to stabilized output after sharp decreases in some of it largest onshore aging fields.  It is estimated that there are about 30 billion barrels of oil beneath Mexico territorial Gulf waters, but the trick is to have sufficient investment capital to obtain deep water drilling technology.  By adopting new technology and investing in deep water drilling technologies, PEMEX hopes to have some 50 deepwater oil wells operating by 2015 and hopes this will stabilize production for many years.  It is yet to be see, what foreign investment will be needed to upgrade the PEMEX infrastructure to allow the necessary deep water production.

It should be interesting to see if PEMEX, like Brazil's Petrobras seeks foreign investment to obtain the capital needed to safely advance its plans for deep water offshore drilling.  If so, the competition for these oil infrastructure contracts could be fierce and include bribes of PEMEX officials, bribes of Mexican government officials, and other corrupt practices.  
 
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Prohibits Bribes of Government Officials and Bounty Actions Allow Whistleblowers to Confidentially Report Violations Through Bounty Action Lawyers and Potentially Claim Large Rewards

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies and foreign companies listed on the U.S. securities exchange.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) also requires such companies to maintain accurate books and records.  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Whistleblowers that properly report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act by a U.S. or foreign companies listed on the U.S. securities exchanges can recover a large reward for exposing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. 

The Mexican national oil company, PEMEX, has many of the same characteristics of  the Mexican electric company CFE.  CFE has been determined to be a foreign government instrumentality in the Lindsey Manufacturing case.  This means that PEMEX can probably be considered to be a foreign government instrumentality and will be covered under the FCPA and will be subject to Bounty Actions.  The characteristics of foreign government instrumentalities under the FCPA include whether the entity was created as a public entity; does its governing Board consist of high ranking government officials; does the entity describe itself as a government agency; does it perform a function that the Mexican government itself designates as a government function; and is the entity financed through governmental appropriations or through revenues obtained as a result of government-mandated taxes, licenses, fees or royalties.

For more information on the Mexican Economy, Foreign Direct Investments into the Mexican Economy, Mexican Government Official Bribe Bounty Actions, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Whistleblower Reward Lawsuits, please feel free to go to the following webpage: Mexico Contract Bribe FCPA Confidential Bounty Actions.

The Globlization of the Brazilian Economy has Brought Brazil Increased Foreign Investment, Economic Prosperity, and Government Corruption by International Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

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In 2011, Brazil became the sixth largest economy in the world.    One of the reasons for the growth of the Brazilian economy is that over the last several years the Brazilian government has put in place several policies to encourage foreign investment into Brazilian economy.  These policies have encouraged international commerce and increased Brazil's presence in the global economy.  Through these policies, the Brazilian economy has expanded rapidly with large amounts of foreign direct investments coming into the country.  Foreign companies are now moving into Brazil at a record pace, and many Brazilian companies are expanding internationally.  For foreign investors and large multinational corporations, the battle to invest into the Brazilian economy and potentially reap huge rewards has become extremely competitive.  This fierce competition combined with the Brazilian history of government corruption will be a test for many new anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws that have been passed around the world and are being considered in Brazil.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Prohibits Bribes of Government Officials and Bounty Actions Allow Whistleblowers to Confidentially Report Violations Through Bounty Action Lawyers and Potentially Claim Large Rewards

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies and foreign companies listed on the U.S. securities exchange.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) also requires such companies to maintain accurate books and records.  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Whistleblowers that properly report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act by a U.S. or foreign companies listed on the U.S. securities exchanges can recover a large reward for exposing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. 

By combining the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with the new SEC Whistleblower Incentive Program, whistleblowers with original and specialized knowledge and evidence of corporate bribery and illegal kickbacks are eligible to recover large economic awards.  By gathering this evidence and going through a lawyer, these whistleblowers can protect their identity through the process and potentially collect large rewards of 10% to 30% of the monetary sanctions including disgorged funds. 

Please keep in mind that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Bounty Action Whistleblower may be entitled to not only the amount of the illegal bribe or kickback, but the benefit of the illegal bribe or kickback.  As such, in cases where $50,000.00 bribe is made to obtain a $200 million building project such as a hospital or pipeline, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Bounty Action Whistleblower may be entitled to 10 to 30% of the $200,000,000.00 and the $50,000.00 translating into over a $20 million to $60 million award.


Brazilian Government Official Corruption, Brazilian Public Official Bribes, Brazilian Multinational Corporation Bribes, and Brazil Government Official Illegal Kickbacks Result in Political Action to Adopt Anti-Bribery Laws and Policies Similar to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, UK Anti-Bribery Act, and other Global Trade Anti-Corruption Policies

With the rapidly expanding Brazilian economy, foreign direct investments into Brazil, and Brazilian companies expanding into other countries have come allegations of government official bribes, government agent kickbacks, fraud, embezzlement, and other forms of corruption. Included in these Brazilian government corruption scandals are several government officials that are being forced to resign, while other government officials in President Dilma Rousseff’s cabinet are under investigation for government corruption.  In the aftermath of these corruption scandals, the Brazilian Congress is in the process of enacting new law that would dramatically strengthen the Brazilian foreign bribery laws.  The foreign anti-bribery law is part of a global trend where governments around the world are cracking down on large corrupt multinational corporations that are offering bribes and kickbacks to government officials in order to obtain large government contracts, avoid health & safety regulations, bypass environmental laws, and exploit populations in foreign countries. 

It is thought that these Brazilian anti-bribery and anti-corruption reforms will improve Brazil's ability to attract legitimate foreign investment as well as improve Brazilian multinational corporations' ability to expand throughout South America, Latin America, and the world.  As Brazilian-based multinationals continue to expand internationally, they will want to ensure that they are protected from corrupt practices by other large multinational corporations and are given a fair chance to legally expand their businesses into international markets. 

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A key Brazilian industry is the petrochemical industry.  With large natural reserves of oil and gas combined with foreign direct investments of technology, Brazil will soon pass China and the United Arab Emirates to become world's fifth largest oil producing nation, only behind Russia, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Iran.  Much of Brazil's oil and gas production comes from offshore drilling in deep water reserves.  Included in these deep water oil and gas reserves is the Santos Basin, which is located in the south Atlantic Ocean.  The Santos Basin is approximately 300 kilometers south east of Sao Paulo and is one of the world's largest oil prospects.  The Santos Basin is situated in deepwater and includes the large Tupi and Jupiter oil fields.  The Santos Basin also includes the Carioca/Sugar Loaf field which could contain as many as 40 billion barrels. 

The production of the Tupi and Jupiter fields combined with the development of production in the Sugar Loaf field should enable the Brazilian Oil Industry to bring in vast amounts of foreign capital into Brazil and allow Brazil to keep advancing its drilling technologies and developing its petrochemical infrastructure.  The rigs, platforms and tankers that will service and harvest Brazil's reserves in the coming years will probably be constructed using local suppliers, manpower and facilities instead of outsourcing to third party companies that do not feed directly into the local/national economy, however, deep technology and capital from around the world will be needed to develop the infrastructure and train the work force.  

The Brazilian energy industry is dominated by the Brazilian multinational energy company, Petrobras.  Petrobras is the forth largest company in the world measured by market capitalization.  It is also Brazil's semi-public oil company that is public and private hybrid.  As Brazil's public oil company, Petrobras has a goal of directing over 50% of its future oil and gas contracts to local Brazilian companies.  This protectionist economic policy is designed to help develop the Brazilian petrochemical industry and to limit the influence of foreign multinational oil companies on the Brazilian economy.  However, avoiding corruption including Santos Basin lease bribes, Petrobras employee bribes, Brazilian government official bribes, Petrobras oil lease bribes, and other potential Petrobras corruption may prove difficult as the historical culture of Brazilian business and Brazilian government includes substantial corruption.

Petrobras has pledged a $224 billon investment in the Santos Basin through 2014 which should be able to bring in advanced technology and industry from large foreign multinational energy companies.  This large amount of investment capital combined with the vast rich Brazilian oil and gas reserves, will bring in fierce competition for these large Brazilian contracts, Brazilian offshore drilling leases, and Brazilian leases.  This fierce competition over these huge riches will definitely test the Brazilian government as to if corrupt practices will continue to be common in Brazil or will new anti-bribery laws, whistleblowers, informants, honest Petrobras employees, honest government officials, and honest Petrobras officers be able to manage these resources for the good of the Brazilian economy and Brazilian people?

Brazilian Oil Company Employee Confidential Whistleblower Lawyers, Brazilian Energy Company Illegal Kickback Bounty Action Lawyers, Petrobras Employee Protected Whistleblower Bounty Action Lawyers, Petrobras Energy Company Employee Confidential Whistleblower Lawyers,  and Multinational Oil Company Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Whistleblower Lawyers and Anonymous Multinational Oil Company Whistleblower Lawyers

Corrupt Foreign Multinational Oil Companies, Multinational Construction Companies, and Multinational Energy Companies that pay illegal kickbacks and bribes to Brazilian government officials and former Brazilian government officials in exchange for Brazilian drilling contracts, Brazilian pipeline contracts, Brazilian oil leases, Brazilian offshore drilling contracts, Brazilian infrastructure contracts, and other Brazilian large building projects can be brought to justice and made to pay large penalties under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The whistleblowers that bring these corporations to justice may be able to collect large economic rewards under the  Securities Exchange Act (SEC Whistleblower Bounty Actions) and the Commodity Exchange Act (CFTC Whisteblower Bounty Actions).

For more information on  Brazilian Bribe Confidential Whistleblower Bounty Actions, Brazilian Corrupt Government Official Anonymous Whistleblower Bounty Actions, Brazil Government Agent Whistleblower Reward Lawsuits, Multinational Energy Company Contract Bribe Whistleblower Bounty Actions and discussion of the Brazilian Economy and Brazilian Government Corruption, please go to the following webpage: Brazilian Government Official Bribe Lawsuit, Brazilian Government Official Illegal Kickback Lawsuit, Brazil Foreign Corrupt Practices Bounty Action Lawsuit, Brazil Bribe Confidential Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, Multinational Oil Company Bribe Lawsuit, & Brazil Illegal Bribe Bounty Action Lawsuit Information


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Texas Fatal Gas Explosion Lawsuit, Texas Home Gas Explosion Lawsuit, Texas Residential Gas Explosion Lawsuit Information by Austin Texas Gas Explosion Lawyer Jason Coomer

Texas Fatal Gas Explosion Lawsuit, Texas Home Gas Explosion Lawsuit, Texas Residential Gas Explosion Lawsuit, Texas Gas Explosion Death Lawsuit and Deadly Gas House Fire Lawsuit Information by Austin Texas Deadly Gas Explosion Lawyer, Austin Texas Fatal Gas Explosion Lawyer and Austin Texas Home Gas Explosion Death Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Residential gas explosions and fires can cause devastating loss of life, serious burns, catastrophic injuries, and significant property damage.  These devastating explosions can be caused by old unmarked and unmetered gas lines, failure to locate a gas leak, and gas company negligence.  

Because residential gas explosions often result in devastating damages including loss of life, serious burns, catastrophic injuries, loss of family income, and significant property damage, it is often difficult for families that suffer the loss of a loved one, their home, or possessions to recover compensation for their loss.  In fact, in the aftermath of a devastating residential home explosion, some insurance companies and gas companies will work hard to investigate and look for information that will allow them to avoid liability after a gas explosion.  Further, in some instances the gas company, insurance company, or their investigators will take control of or even destroy evidence that could cause them to incur liability for the explosion.  
 
As such, it is often beneficial to hire a Texas home gas explosion lawyer to assist in seeking compensation for significant damages caused by a home gas explosion and/or residential fire.   A good Texas residential gas explosion lawyer will investigate the cause of the gas explosion and work with fire cause and origin experts to determine the cause and origin of the gas explosion.  This investigation is extremely important as it is the person seeking compensation that has the burden to prove what caused the explosion including faulty installation of gas lines, gas meters, or gas appliances; negligent maintenance of lines or meters by the gas company or other responsible parties; or defective parts including defective gas meters, defective gas lines, defective gas control valves, or defective flexible gas connectors.

Texas Fatal Gas Explosion Lawyer, Austin Texas Home Gas Explosion Lawyer, Austin Texas Residential Gas Explosion Lawyer, Austin Texas Gas Explosion Death Lawyer, Austin Deadly Gas House Fire Lawyer, and Austin Texas Deadly Residential Gas Explosion Lawyer

For more information on Texas Fatal Gas Explosion Lawsuits, Texas Residential Gas Explosion Death Lawsuits, Deadly Gas Explosion Lawsuits, and other Gas Explosion Lawsuits, feel free to go to the following web page on Texas Fatal Gas Explosion Lawsuit, Austin Texas Residential Gas Explosion Death Lawsuit, Deadly Gas Explosion Lawsuit, and other Gas Explosion Lawsuit information.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Expansion of Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Reward Laws by Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer

New whistleblower reward laws are expanding the ability of Medicaid fraud whistleblowers to collect large economic rewards to encourage health care providers to blow the whistle on health care fraud including illegal Medicaid retention of overpayments, Medicaid illegal kickback scams, Medicaid upcoding, Medicaid double billing, Medicaid false coding, Medicaid unbundling, and other fraudulent Medicaid billing practices.  Understanding the new state and federal Medicaid fraud Bounty Reward Action laws and whistleblower protection laws can be helpful for any health care professional that works in a health system that takes Medicaid, Medicare, or other forms of government health care benefits.   

New Medicaid Fraud Bounty Reward Laws and Federal False Claims Act Amendments including Medicaid Retention Overpayment Lawsuit, Medicare Retention of Overpayment Fraud Lawsuit, and Hospital Employee Whistleblower Lawsuit Information

The 2009 Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) and many new state Medicaid fraud whistleblower laws are expanding Medicaid fraud whistleblower recovery laws and other Bounty Reward Actions to increase potential rewards for relators, expand potential liability for Medicaid fraud criminals and violators, and to increase protections to Medicaid fraud whistleblowers.  These new laws are designed to help the Federal government and state governments identify, recoup, and crack down on Medicaid fraud, Medicare fraud, and other forms of health care fraud which is estimated to be over $100 Billion per year. 

With Medicare and Medicaid costs continuing to grow and many government budgets being tight, it is essential that health care providers with knowledge of Medicaid fraud, Medicare fraud, or other health care fraud to step up and expose the health care fraud and systematic Medicaid fraud that is the fasting growing and most lucrative crimes in the United States.    

In developing and strengthening Medicaid fraud whistleblower laws, governments are setting up increased whistleblower protections and economic incentives to encourage health care providers to blow the whistle on traditional qui tam health care fraud causes of action and are expanding the causes of action to include rewards to whistleblowers that expose retention of Medicaid overpayments.  Many of these False Claims Act statutes and Medicaid Fraud statutes have also been expanded to include government contractor false claims, government grantee false claims, and other recipients of government money that submit false claims to obtain this money.


State Medicaid False Claims Act Lawsuit, Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Reward Lawsuit, State Medicaid False Billing Whistleblower Award Lawsuit, Medicaid Double Billing Fraud Lawsuit, Federal Medicaid Fraud False Billing Lawsuit, Unnecessary Medical Treatment Relator Lawsuit, and Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit Information

Medicaid is a federal/state cost-sharing program that provides health care to people who are unable to pay for such care.  The Medicaid Program is jointly funded by state and federal governments, but is managed by the states.  Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income in the United States and the Medicaid program has been increasing.  The fastest growing aspect of Medicaid is nursing home coverage and this is expected to continue as the Baby Boomer generation begins to reach nursing home age.  

Unlike Medicare, which is solely a federal program, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system.  Each state's Medicaid Program must conform to federal guidelines in order for the state to receive matching funds and grants.  For many states Medicaid has become a major budget issue as on average the state's matching costs of the Medicaid program is about 16.8% of state general funds. According to CMS, the Medicaid program provided health care services to more than 46.0 million people in 2001. In 2008, Medicaid provided health coverage and services to approximately 49 million low-income children, pregnant women, elderly persons, and disabled individuals. Federal Medicaid outlays were estimated to be $204 billion in 2008.  Medicaid payments currently assist nearly 60 percent of all nursing home residents and about 37 percent of all childbirths in the United States. The Federal Government pays on average 57 percent of Medicaid expenses.

Medicaid fraud is a violation of federal law and several new state Medicaid fraud laws.  Health care providers that are convicted of Medicaid fraud can be fined, incarcerated, and lose their status as Medicaid providers.  To prevent Medicaid fraud, several states including Texas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, Tennessee, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Delaware, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Virginia have enacted state Medicaid fraud whistleblower recovery laws.  These Medicaid fraud whistleblower laws are based on the Federal False Claims Act and many acts of large scale systematic Medicaid fraud will entail aspects of several different laws.     

There are many types of Medicaid fraud that may be the basis for Medicaid fraud whistleblower recovery lawsuits and other qui tam claims including:
  • billing Medicaid for X-rays, blood tests and other procedures that were never performed
  • falsifying a patient’s diagnosis to justify unnecessary tests;
  • giving a patient a generic drug and billing for the name-brand version of the medication;
  • giving a recipient a motorized scooter and billing for an electric wheelchair, which can cost three times more;
  • billing Medicaid for care not given;
  • billing Medicaid for patients who have died or who are no longer eligible for Medicaid;
  • billing Medicaid for care given to patients who have transferred to another facility;
  • transporting Medicaid patients by ambulance when it is not medically necessary;
  • requiring vendors to “kick back” part of the money they receive for rendering services to Medicaid patients (kickbacks may also include vacations, merchandise, etc.);
  • billing patients for services already paid for by Medicaid;
  • billing Medicaid for phantom patients;
  • double billing Medicaid for services;
  • upcoding services for increased Medicaid payments.
Upcoding occurs when a medical service provider intentionally and fraudulently upcodes services to obtain a higher reimbursement than one that is entitled to for the service that was actually provided.  In both the Medicare and Medicaid systems a set of billing codes is used by healthcare providers to bill for services. These codes are known as the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). A service provider that intentionally uses a higher paying code to fraudulently reflect that a more expensive procedure or device was involved in the patient’s treatment than actually was used or was necessary.  A pattern of intentional upcoding treatment can result in large profits for the healthcare provider, but also cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Upcoding fraud is typically hard to catch without the help of persons with inside information because that Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes are billed electronically and can easily slip through the system.  Therefore unless the upcoding is caught through a random audit (approximately 2% of the claims per year are audited), it is up to insiders, informants, heroes, and health care professionals to catch fraudulent upcoding.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Texas Happy Hour Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuit, Texas Bar Customer Drunk Driver Lawsuit, Texas Overserved Patron Lawsuit, Texas Drunk Employee Crash Lawsuit, and Texas Dram Shop Lawsuit Information

Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuit, Texas Drunk Driver Crash Lawsuit, Texas Drunk Driver Wreck Lawsuit, Texas Intoxicated Driver Lawsuit, Texas Happy Hour Driver Lawsuit, and Texas Drunk Driver Fatal Crash Lawsuit Information by Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer, Texas Drunk Employee Accident Lawyer, and Texas Bar Drunk Driver Crash Lawyer

Often the family of a person killed or seriously injured by a drunk driver does not realize that in addition to the criminal charges that can be filed against that drunk driver, that there are civil causes of action that they can often be used against the drunk driver and those parties that are responsible for allowing the drunk driver to drive drunk. These potential causes of action extend to bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that serve intoxicated customers as well as employers that provide vehicles and alcohol to employees.

Texas Happy Hour Driver Lawyer, Texas Bar Customer Drunk Driver Lawyer, Texas Overserved Patron Lawyer, Texas Drink Special TABC Violation Accident Lawyer, Texas Nightclub Drunk Driver Crash Lawyer, and Texas Dram Shop Lawyer

A dram shop is any drinking establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold including bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.  The term "dram shop" relates back to a time when a drinking establishment served patrons alcohol by the measurement of a dram which is one eighth of a fluid ounce.

The Texas Dram Shop Law was passed in 1987. This law allows individuals to bring civil lawsuits against a person or business who serves, sells, or provides alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated to the extent that he presents a clear and obvious danger to himself or others. In these Texas Drunk Driver Accident lawsuits the injured person or family of the person need to prove where the drunk driver was drinking, the drunk driver caused the accident, that the intoxicated person was served after they were obviously intoxicated, and the intoxication was the proximate cause of the damage incurred.

In September 2004, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the law surrounding the responsibility between patrons and drinking establishments when they held in the Duenez decision that a licensed alcohol seller is jointly responsible with its patron when it provides alcohol to an obviously intoxicated patron and that patron harms another.   

Texas Holiday Office Party Drunk Driver Collision Lawyer, Texas On The Job Drinking Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer, Texas Drunk Employee Accident Lawyer, Texas Company Truck Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer, Texas Drunk Employee Crash Lawyer, and Texas Drunk Truck Driver Crash Lawyer

Employees that get drunk at work, office parties, while driving company vehicles, and while at company events can cause their employer to become responsible for a drunk driving accident that is caused by the drunk employee.  As such, if a drunk employee causes a serious injury drunk driver accident, drunk driver multivehicle collision, or a fatal drunk driver crash, it is important to investigate where the employee was drinking, who supplied the alcohol, was the employer aware of the drinking, and was the employer aware of their employee having a history or a habit of drinking and driving during work.

Texas Drunk Truck Driver Accident Lawyer, Texas Intoxicated Truck Driver Crash Lawyer, Texas Company Vehicle Collision Lawyer, Texas Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer, and Texas DWI Truck Driver Crash Lawyer

The trucking industry, bus companies, and other companies with commercial vehicles also have many drivers that are on drugs or alcohol.  Though the more responsible companies with commercial vehicles will perform background checks on drivers, monitor drivers, and have safety policies that prevent intoxicated drivers from operating commercial vehicles, negligent companies will all too often allow drunk and intoxicated drivers to operate commercial vehicles and become hazards on Texas roads.  From alcohol to speed and other forms of uppers to over the counter stimulants that keep the driver awake, the combination of tried overworked drivers on drugs and/or alcohol driving large commercial vehicles can cause devastating automobile accidents.  These collisions are too often caused by several ton vehicles attempting to travel too fast, getting too close to passenger vehicles, or not slowing down for weather.  When traveling on highways it is important to give these big vehicles room and if one is driving recklessly or speeding, to give that truck driver, bus driver, or other commercial vehicle driver some room. 

Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer, Texas Drunk Driver Crash Lawyer, Texas Drunk Driver Wreck Lawyer, Texas Intoxicated Driver Lawyer, Texas Happy Hour Driver Lawyer, Texas Bar Customer Drunk Driver Lawyer, and Texas Drunk Driver Fatal Crash Lawyer

Driving on our roads is a necessary risk we all have to take, but driving becomes increasingly dangerous with drunk drivers are carelessly and recklessly driving on our roads. In Texas, there are laws against drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but too many drivers do not respect these laws and recklessly drive causing many automobile collisions.

Under Texas law, a driver is considered drunk or under the influence if they do not have the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body or if they have a blood alcohol concentration of over .08.   And it is against Texas law for drunk drivers to operate motor vehicles, water craft, and air craft.  If the drunk driver causes an automobile accident or boating accident that causes serious injuries or death, they can be charged under Texas law with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter both serious felonies. 

For more information on Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuits, Texas Drunk Driver Crash Lawsuits, Texas Drunk Driver Wreck Lawsuits, Texas Intoxicated Driver Lawsuits, Texas Happy Hour Driver Lawsuits, Texas Commercial Vehicle Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuits, and Texas Drunk Driver Fatal Crash Lawsuits, please go to the following web pages: Passenger Van Rollover Lawsuit Information (Church, School and Tourist Vans), Texas Bus Company Accident Lawsuit Information and Texas Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuit, Texas Drunk Employee Accident Lawsuit, and Texas Bar Drunk Driver Crash Lawsuit Information.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Texas Bastrop Wildfire Lawsuit, Utility Power Line Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuits, and Austin Bastrop Wildfire Lawsuits by Texas Bastrop Wildfire Lawyer, Utility Power Line Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuit Lawyer, and Austin Bastrop Wildfire Lawyer, Jason S. Coomer

Central Texas Bastrop Fire Lawsuit, Utility Power Line Bastrop Wildfire Lawsuit, Bastrop Fire Damage Recovery Lawsuit, Bastrop House Fire Compensation Lawsuit, Bastrop Business Fire Lawsuit, Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuit, and Texas Power Line Easement Wildfire Lawsuit Information by Texas Bastrop Wildfire Lawyer, Utility Power Line Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuit Lawyer, and Austin Bastrop Wildfire Lawyer, Jason S. Coomer

The Texas Forest Service has released their report of the investigation of the cause and origin of the Bastrop Wildfire of 2011.  In the report, the authorities have determined that on September 4, 2011, power lines maintained by the Bluebonnet Electrical Coop ignited a dead pine tree that fell on the lines causing the Bastrop Fire that killed two people and destroyed over 1,500 homes, and numerous businesses.  The Bastrop Complex Fire is one of the nation's largest fires in recent history and destroyed over 34,000 acres as well as caused an estimated over $250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars) in damage.  

According to authorities, the fire ignited as a result of dead and dry pine trees falling onto power lines maintained by Bluebonnet Electric Coop.  According to Bluebonnet Electric Coop documents, this is a similar scenario that caused the Bastrop Fires in February 2009.  Thus, there is a significant issue as to whether this fire could be avoided and should Bluebonnet Electric Coop have been aware of this danger of dead and dry pine trees on their power line easements and taken steps to prevent or at least reduce the potential of an electrical wildfire like the September 2011 Bastrop Fire? 

As a result of the 2011 Bastrop Fire, numerous Bastrop Fire Lawsuits are expected to be filed including numerous Bastrop Fire Bluebonnet Electric Coop Lawsuits, Bastrop Fire insurance coverage lawsuits, Bastrop Wildfire loss of business lawsuits, and Bastrop Wildfire property damage lawsuits.  In fact, some Bastrop Fire Bluebonnet Electric Coop Lawsuits have already been filed and many more are expected.

Bastrop Fire Fraudulent Builder Lawyer, Bastrop Fire Damage Compensation Recovery Lawyer, Central Texas Bastrop Wildfire Insurance Recover Lawyer, Bastrop Fire Damage Compensation Lawyer, Bastrop Lost House Fire Compensation Lawyer, Bastrop Wild Fire Lost Business Profits Recovery Lawyer, and Bastrop Fire Rebuilding Lawyer

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of a devastating fire, there are often many fraudulent contractors, insurance adjusters, builders, and other unscrupulous individuals that attempt to take advantage of disaster victims and fire victims.  These individuals will often try to undervalue fire damage or fraudulently take money needed for rebuilding homes or replacing property lost in the fire.  It is important when dealing with insurance adjusters and contractors after a fire, to read and understand any contracts or releases that are given to you.

In dealing with insurance adjusters, it is often best to make sure that you have a copy of your insurance policy.  Reading and understanding your insurance policy is extremely important in determining what compensation you may be entitled to after a fire loss.  It is also important to determine approximately what your fire damages or fire loss is including all lost personal property, the cost of demolition & rebuild, and the cost of alternative living expenses.   In doing this, it is helpful to keep track of all money spent on alternative living expenses, demolition, and rebuild.  Try to keep receipts for everything.

It is also often a good idea to let the adjuster originally state what the coverage and fire loss damage estimates are prior to stating what you have determined the coverage and fire loss damage is.   Like any negotiation, having the adjuster state the first number and then responding to that number is often an effective method of negotiating an insurance claim.

In dealing with builders and contractors, it is important to make sure that you are dealing with someone that will provide good quality work and will finish any work in a timely manner.  As such, it is important not to agree to give too much money to any builder or contractor upfront, make sure that they are a legitimate builder with references and insurance, and to read as well as keep a copy of any building contract.
 
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Several Bastrop Communities including Tahitian Village, Pine View West, Lake Bastrop State Park, Cottle Town, Harmon Road, Pine Hill Loop, Schwartz Road, Old Potato Road, Circle D, Lake Bastrop Acres, KC Estates, Watterson Road, Colovista, Wilhelm Way, Young School House Road, Hall Road, Eisly Road, Tiner Cutoff, and Herron Trail have suffered catastrophic damages from the Bastrop Wildfire.  These Bastrop Communities will require significant rebuilding and demolition to recover from the September 2011 Bastrop Complex Fire. It is important that people in these communities are given the proper support, information, compensation, and assistance, to help them rebuild their lives, their businesses, and their communities.

Bastrop Fire Lawsuit, Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuit, Bastrop Wildfire Lawsuit, Utility Power Line Fire Lawsuit, Bastrop Business Fire Lawsuit, and Texas Bastrop Fire Lawsuit Information by Texas Bastrop Fire Lawyer, Utility Power Line Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuit Lawyer, and Austin Bastrop Wildfire Lawyer

For more information on Texas Bastrop Wildfire Lawsuit, Utility Power Line Bluebonnet Electric Coop Bastrop Fire Lawsuits, and Austin Bastrop Wildfire Lawsuits, please feel free to following this link to an information page on Bastrop Fire Lawsuits and Utility Power Line Wildfire Lawsuits.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Central Texas Probate Lawsuits, Austin Estate Lawsuits, Central Texas Estate Lawsuits and Moving Estate Property Through Texas Probate Law by Austin Texas Inheritance Lawyer and Travis County Probate Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Austin Texas Inheritance Lawsuits, Austin Intestate Lawsuits, Central Texas Inheritance Lawsuits, Central Texas Probate Lawsuits, Austin Uncontested Probate Lawsuits, Austin Estate Lawsuits, Central Texas Estate Lawsuits and Moving Estate Property Through Texas Probate Law
by Austin Texas Inheritance Lawyer and Travis County Probate Lawyer Jason S. Coomer
 
Inheritance or ownership succession is the practice of passing wealth upon the death of an individual to an heir or designated beneficiary.  Under Texas Probate law, parents, spouses, or other individuals that have testamentary capacity have the right to transfer through a valid will or trust, assets such as real estate, mineral interests, gold, life insurance, bank accounts, land, houses, businesses, stocks, jewelry, and other wealth to their children, spouses, and people that they love.  If there is no valid will or trust, these assets can also be transferred under Texas intestate law to the rightful heirs of the decedent. 

When dealing with a large estate, it is often important to hire a Texas probate lawyer to help probate an estate and move assets in the estate through the probate process.  The Texas probate lawyer can help probate the will, identify the proper beneficiaries or heirs, file an application to probate a will, file a suit to determine heirship, work with the administrator or executor to be sworn in and obtain letters of administration, collect estate assets, negotiate potential debts, collect non-probate assets, collect death benefits, provide proper legal notices, work with ad litems, and file necessary court documents.

Many Families have Spread Out Across The United States and Throughout the World, Therefore it is Often Helpful to Hire a Texas Probate Lawyer to Assist with the Texas Probate Process and to Handle Estate Issues
 
Many families have spread out throughout the United States and around the World.  For many families, gone is the time where several generations live with in a few miles of each other in the same town, city, or county.  This lack of proximity can make it difficult, when a family member in Texas passes away. For the family member that lives out of state and has never been through the Texas probate process, Texas probate law and Texas probate courts can be overwhelming.  At a time when they want to grieve the loss of their loved one, they are forced to deal with difficult probate issues including:

    1) Who should be in control of their loved ones' estate?
    2) What needs to be done to have an administrator or executor appointed?
    3) What is probate & non-probate property?
    4) What should be done to protect estate property?
    5)  How are estate assets collected?
    6)  What can be done with Estate property?  
    7) Can assets be sold or transferred?
 
It is often helpful to speak with and hire a Texas probate lawyer to help take care of many of the probate issues.  A Texas probate lawyer can help "out of town" relatives  through the probate process and taking care of the estate.  This is extremely helpful when relatives and loved ones want to focus on the grieving process instead of learning Texas Probate Law and navigating Texas Probate Courts.  Hiring a Texas contested probate lawyer can also be extremely important when someone has tried or may try to unlawfully take estate assets that do not belong to them.

 Helping Central Texas Families and Families with Real Estate in Central Texas Transfer Assets and Title to Assets By Central Texas Probate Lawyer and Austin Estate Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Through Wills and intestate laws, Texas courts determine who are proper heirs and beneficiaries, and allow tremendous amounts of wealth to be transferred to heirs and beneficiaries each year.  A large amount of this inherited wealth includes real estate including family homes, lake houses, condominiums, and mineral interests.  As a Central Texas Real Estate Probate Lawyer, Jason Coomer helps families, heirs, beneficiaries, executors, and administrators move Texas real estate, Texas mineral interests, Texas lake houses, and other Texas real estate through probate.

For more information on moving Central Texas Real Estate through probate including Austin family homes, Lake Travis lake houses, Lake LBJ lakes houses, Austin condominiums, and Texas mineral interests, feel free to go to the following web page Lake Travis Real Estate Probate Lawyer, Lake LBJ Real Estate Probate Lawyer, Travis County Real Estate Probate Lawyer, Travis County Contested Probate Lawyer, Texas Real Estate Probate Lawyer, and Central Texas Real Property and Lake House Inheritance Lawyer. 

The Probate Process and Inheritance is Expected to Become More Common with Hundreds of Billions of Dollars in Property Being Passed Down Each Year and in the Future Trillions of Dollars in Inheritance is Expected to be Passed Down
 
It is estimated that in the United States over $200 Billion each year is passed down through inheritance to heirs and beneficiaries.  It is expected with our aging population, that the amount of inheritance that will be passed through the probate system will continue to increase in the next 20 years as Trillions of Dollars in wealth will be passed on through inheritance. 
 
Unfortunately, many families that have no experience or limited experience with the Texas probate system will be faced with numerous Texas Probate Law decisions on estates with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of assets.  It is therefore extremely important for families that want to protect their wealth and are going through the probate process, to hire an experienced Texas Probate Lawyer that is able to work with out of state or inexperienced heirs and beneficiaries to handle estate probate issues.

Central Texas Contested Probate Lawsuits, Travis County Will Contest Lawsuits, Texas Forged Will Lawsuits, Texas Probate Fraud Lawsuits, Texas Estate Fraud Lawsuits, and Texas Inheritance Fraud Lawsuits by Austin Texas Contested Probate Lawyer and Travis County Estate Lawyer

In addition to uncontested probate lawsuits, Texas contested probate lawsuits including Texas Will Contest Lawsuits, Texas Trustee Fraud Lawsuits, Texas Guardian Fraud Lawsuits, Texas Will Fraud Lawsuits, and Texas Administrator Fraud Lawsuits are increasing.  Caretakers, strangers, and some family members have found that it can be profitable to take advantage of elderly people or to steal estate assets from a family after the death of a loved one.  These vultures can often take advantage of grieving and out of town relatives.  For more information on Elder Financial Fraud and Financial Elder Abuse, please go to the following web page: Texas Elder Financial Abuse Lawsuit & Elder Financial Fraud Lawsuit Information.
A Will Contest occurs when there is something wrong with a Will. There are several reasons that a Will may be contested including 1) the Will was written under the influence from another person, 2) the Decedent was not of sound mind when the Will was written, 3) the Will is a forged or fraudulent document, 4) the Will is not up to date and leaves out children or does not take into account a divorce or remarriage, 5) the Will was not witnessed or signed correctly, and 6) the Will was improperly done and does not comply with Texas law.
In some instances the Testator did not have actual "testamentary capacity" or "testamentary intent" to draft a proper Will. In such a situation the Will is not valid and interested parties including a beneficiary or heir that was disinherited or lost inheritance through the invalid Will can contest the Will as being invalid.  In other instances a Will was executed under undue influence and not the last wishes of the Testator.

Locating Probate Assets, Claiming Estate Assets, Claiming Unclaimed Property, Claiming Death Benefits, Transferring Estate Real Property Assets, Collecting Estate Property for Heirs, Collecting Life Insurance for Beneficiaries, Collecting Probate Assets for Heirs and Beneficiaries, Transferring Estate Mineral Interests, and Collecting Estate Royalties
 
In addition to obvious assets and family wealth that can be passed through the probate process, there is a significant amount of unclaimed wealth including bank accounts, houses, oil interests, safety deposit boxes, stocks, and other wealth that is forgotten about or is unclaimed.  Much of this wealth is collected by the states and held for rightful owners including heirs and beneficiaries.

In claiming lost wealth, it is usually best to check with the state where the decedent was living to determine if that person's assets have been collected by the state.  The following link can be used to check Texas Unclaimed Property.  However, this is not the only place that should be investigated as many financial institutions, oil companies, banks, trusts, large corporations, and insurance companies, keep assets for an extended period of time or send the property to other states.  For more information on collection of unclaimed property, please follow this link to Texas Estate and Probate Unclaimed Property Lawyer. 

In Texas, the state is currently safekeeping over $2 billion in assets entrusted to it from a variety of sources, including unclaimed utility deposits, dormant bank accounts, unclaimed wages, safety deposit boxes, insurance policies and uncashed checks.  In fiscal year 2010, the state returned more than $160 million in such assets.  Many of these assets will need to go through probate before they can be distributed to the heirs of estate or beneficiaries of an estate.
 
Travis County Probate Lawyer, Travis County Estate Lawyer, Travis County Will Probate Lawyer, Travis County Contested Probate Lawyer, Travis County Real Estate Probate Lawyer, and Travis County Inheritance Lawyer
 
If your family is in need of a central Texas probate lawyer to help transfer central Texas real estate or other assets through probate to the rightful heir or beneficiaries, please feel free to follow the links above and below for additional information.     

  
Texas Contingent Probate Lawyer, Contingent Death Benefit Lawyer, and Texas Contingent Estate Collection Lawyer Helps Heirs and Benefits Collect and Transfer Estate Assets Including Royalties, Real Estate, and Mineral Interests by Texas Contingent Probate Lawyer and Texas Contingent Estate Asset Collection Lawyer Jason S. Coomer
 
In some situations family assets cannot get transferred or collected by their rightful heirs or beneficiaries because the heirs and beneficiaries cannot afford the cost of probate and other transfer costs.  In these situations, a Texas Contingent Probate Lawyer or Texas Contingent Death Benefit Lawyer that works on a percentage of the estate property can help heirs and beneficiaries transfer estate property to rightful heirs and beneficiaries. 
 
In these situations, the Texas Contingent Probate Lawyer or Texas Contingent Death Benefit Lawyer will typically need to see that there are actual significant assets in the estate and who the rightful heirs and beneficiaries are of the estate.  In these cases, bank statements, life insurance policies, royalty statements, mutual fund statements, retirement fund statements, real property deeds, property tax information, and other evidence of the estate assets can be useful in determining the approximate value of the estate and if a contingent contract for probating the estate can be viable. 

 For more information on Texas Contingent Probate Lawsuits and Texas Contingent Death Benefit Lawsuits, please feel free to go to the following web page: Texas Contingent Probate Lawyer and Death Benefit Collection Lawyer.