Posts Tagged ‘IRE’

James Hoyer Investigator Speaks at Investigative Reporters & Editors Conference

Boston University Assoc. Professor Maggie Mulvihill, James Hoyer law firm investigator Jim Ross & attorney Jennifer Mansfield

(From L to R) Boston University Associate Professor Maggie Mulvihill, James Hoyer law firm investigator Jim Ross and attorney Jennifer Mansfield

James Hoyer law firm investigator Jim Ross was featured on a panel at the Investigative Reporters and Editors regional conference in Jacksonville, this weekend.  Jim shared his expertise on negotiating for public records with journalists from around the world.

Journalists play a unique and valuable role in helping to expose fraud against the government. False Claims Act litigation is a helpful source of stories for all journalists. The FCA gives private citizens who become aware of fraud against the government the right to sue on behalf of taxpayers to return that money to the public coffers. These cases can become important stories to hold corporations accountable when they receive taxpayer money, whether it’s in healthcare, defense contracting, for-profit colleges, or Big Pharma.

Public Records Expertise

Jim is the law firm’s go-to person for all things related to public records.  His background as the former head of the Tampa Tribune’s investigative unit and a certified fraud examiner for the Florida Attorney General’s office make him uniquely qualified to share tips and techniques to negotiate for public records.  Jim offered valuable advice on the most effective ways to get records from reluctant public officials and how to make sure journalists target the right records to get the most valuable information.

Joining Jim on the IRE Open Records panel were Maggie Mulvihill, an Associate Professor of Computational Journalism at Boston University and the founder of BU’s Storytelling with Data Workshop and John Bones, Managing Director at SKUP, the Norwegian Foundation for Investigating Reporting.

Jim also participated in a legal Question and Answer session with journalists, along with Professor Mulvihill and attorney Jennifer Mansfield, to offer advice on topics ranging from open records to investigative techniques.





James Hoyer Investigator Speaks at Investigative Reporters & Editors Conference


2013 IRE Panel on Whistleblowers
From left: Angie Moreschi, David Corn, Pia Malbran

James Hoyer Investigator and Communications Director Angie Moreschi was a speaker at this year’s 2013 Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  IRE is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting.  Many of the country’s best investigative reporters are members.

Moreschi was on a panel about whistleblowers and protecting sources with Mother Jones Magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief David Corn and CBS News Investigative Producer Pia Malbran.  Moreschi was an award winning,  investigative reporter for 20 years at TV stations around the country prior to joining the James Hoyer Law Firm.

Corporate Whistleblowers

Moreschi’s presentation at IRE focused on corporate whistleblowers and how they’ve become such an important tool in fighting fraud against the government.   Last year alone, the Department of Justice recovered nearly $5 billion in taxpayer money with the help of whistleblower lawsuits– $3 billion of that came from healthcare fraud. Cases range from hospitals over-billing Medicaid/Medicare to pharmaceutical companies promoting drugs for off-label uses.

Moreschi also discussed how whistleblower lawsuits work and the history of the False Claims Act.

The 47% Video

David Corn of Mother Jones is the journalist who broke the story on the Mitt Romney 47-percent video, which came out during the 2012 presidential campaign.  The now infamous video includes Romney’s remarks talking about the 47 percent of Americans he characterized as “victims.”

“All right, there are 47 percent who are with him (President Obama), who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them…These are people who pay no income tax.”

When originally reporting the story, Corn did not reveal the source of the recording, honoring a pledge to protect the person’s identity.  During his IRE presentation, Corn described how he got the exclusive and the evolution of the source’s decision to reveal himself.

Protecting Sources

CBS News Investigative Producer Pia Malbran discussed the importance of protecting sources.  Malbran said it takes a very unique person to come forward and put their livelihood on the line to expose wrongdoing.  She stressed the need to be extra sensitive to their difficult situation when reporting on their stories.