Grace Schepis

About Grace Schepis

Grace Schepis is the Public Relations & Communications Assistant for Kohn, Kohn, & Colapinto (KKC). In spring 2022, Grace graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama with a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s in Political Science. On campus, she led the competitive Mock Trial team, multiple voting rights organizations, and was a Staff Writer for the Pacemaker-award winning campus newspaper, The Crimson White.

From the Whistleblower and Qui Tam Blog

Supervalu Supreme Court Decision A Major Victory for Whistleblowers

By Grace Schepis|June 1st, 2023|False Claims/Qui Tam, Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog|

On June 1, the United States Supreme Court unanimously issued a decision in U.S. Ex Rel Shutte v. Supervalu Inc. resulting in a major victory for whistleblowers. The ruling overturns a series of U.S. Court of Appeals decisions that permitted government contractors and Medicare fraudsters to rely upon after-the-fact justification for their misconduct, even in the face of direct evidence that those who illegally billed the government were aware of their frauds.  The Supreme Court rejected the arguments of the Chamber of Commerce, numerous federal contractors, and mega-million dollar health providers that would have permitted fraudsters to escape liability by attempting to justify their deceit. Instead, the Court held that the focus is on “what the defendant thought when submitting the false claim – not what the defendant may have thought after submitting it.”  “This is a milestone victory for whistleblowers and their ability to report fraud against the taxpayer,”  ...

Treasury and FinCEN are Taking the New AML Law Seriously

By Grace Schepis|May 24th, 2023|Anti-Money Laundering, Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog|

This article originally appeared in JD Supra. When President Biden signed the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act on December 29th, 2022, the Treasury Department had its work cut out for them. In the shadow of the highly successful Securities and Exchange (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commissions (CFTC), the new program is expected to process money laundering, sanctions busting, and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations with the same vigor. Before the updated law, whistleblower awards were discretionary, with no mandatory minimum payment amount and no fund to pay them from. Like Dodd-Frank programs, the new AML law also guaranteed confidentiality and anonymity to those reporting under it. Stephen M. Kohn, who has been representing whistleblowers since 1984, was an outspoken advocate for the law as it made its way through Congress. “The new AML law has the potential to be the most effective transnational anti-corruption law on the book,” said Kohn, founding partner of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, “because money laundering plays ...

Whistleblower Lawyer Talks Anti-Corruption with Prominent African Officials

By Grace Schepis|September 1st, 2022|Foreign Corrupt Practices, Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog|

On August 30, Stephen M. Kohn returned to the Meridian International Center as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Kohn, founding partner of Kohn, Kohn, and Colapinto and Chairman of the Board at the National Whistleblower Center, was welcomed by representatives from Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Participants held a range of distinguished positions in their respective countries, from Director of Information and Communication to Cabinet Director for the Attorney General. Kohn provided an overview of whistleblower reward provisions available under U.S. law to international citizens. Keying in on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Kohn explained how and why this law works, and its ability to support whistleblowers across the world. The FCPA gives the U.S. government eyes and ears in every corner of the international sphere, generating inside sources who witness corruption firsthand. “Fraud is designed to be ...

FBI Whistleblower, Attorney Unite to Tell the Story of National Whistleblower Day

By Grace Schepis|July 22nd, 2022|Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog|

On July 30, the final day of this year’s National Whistleblower Day celebration, advocates Stephen M. Kohn and Jane Turner will join to tell the story behind National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. Together, the two will reflect on the history of whistleblowing in the United States and the path laid forth for today’s whistleblowers by the founders of this country. “To foresee the future, we must look into the past,” Turner said. Turner, current host of the Whistleblower of the Week Podcast, has been an advocate for whistleblowers since she blew the whistle herself during her time at the FBI. Turner led the FBI’s highly successful programs combating crimes against women and child sex crime victims on North Dakota Indian Reservations and was retaliated against when she exposed weaknesses in the program. Turner also won her retaliation case after reporting property theft at the 9/11 crime scene, prevailing under the FBI ...

Harvard Professors Discuss the Risks and Rewards of Whistleblowing at National Whistleblower Day Event

By Grace Schepis|July 19th, 2022|Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog|

On July 29, Harvard Business School professors Aiyesha Dey and Jonas Heese join Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto partner Stephen M. Kohn for a National Whistleblower Day panel. They will discuss their research on the risks and rewards of whistleblowing. Dey and Heese, co-authors of the 2021 article titled “Cash-for-Information Whistleblower Programs: Effects on Whistleblowing and Consequences for Whistleblowers,” have published multiple reports related to whistleblowing in the past few years. This article specifically looked at how financial incentives affect a whistleblower’s decision to report misconduct and if the potential consequences could be supplemented by a financial reward. “People are naturally motivated to speak up against wrongdoing,” Dey said. “The question is: what obstacles do we put in their way?” Dey and Heese’s research found that the expected financial costs of whistleblowing are significantly outweighed by the award amounts that can be expected. They encourage agencies to continue their high payout to those who come forward. Their ...

KKC Partner Talks Transnational Whistleblower Laws with International Delegates

By Grace Schepis|June 29th, 2022|International, Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog|

On June 28, leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn addressed over 15 international delegates at the Meridian International Center’s speaker series on Transparency and Accountability in Government. The attendees came from Nepal, Israel, Bangladesh, Estonia, Guyana, Brazil, Hungary, Vietnam, Slovakia, Kenya, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Italy, and Rwanda as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. “I am always very appreciative of being able to speak to an international group,” Kohn opened, “mostly because our laws and mechanisms for accountability and transparency are fairly unique, but open for transnational application. So, what sometimes looks like a uniquely American program has been effectively used in every single country where it's been implemented.” Kohn, founding partner of Kohn, Kohn, & Colapinto LLP and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center, has exclusively worked with whistleblowers since he began practicing in 1984. Citing evidence collected by the United ...

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