Whistleblower lawsuits are hard to interpret. Sometimes massive problems are uncovered, by the only people (insiders) who could uncover them. And sometimes it's a disgruntled employee looking for revenge, a payout, or both. So I don't know what to make of this one, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on:
A new lawsuit claims the recently ousted CEO of Sanofi and other executives at the huge drugmaker conducted a scheme in violation of federal law to funnel tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks and other incentives to get the company's diabetes drugs prescribed and sold.
The whistleblower lawsuit also claims Sanofi CEO Christopher Viehbacher was fired by the company's board in October "in part, because Defendant Viehbacher was involved in the aforesaid illegal and/or fraudulent activity," which allegedly went on "over the course of many years."
Well, then. The sort of proof the plaintiff (a 13-year paralegal with the company) offers for these allegations will be very interesting to see. She claims that her review of several contracts -- with Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Deloitte -- made it clear that they were part of a kickback scheme. Worryingly, Sanofi had already settled with the Justice Department two years ago over, well, another kickback scheme. So this is worth watching. At the very least, it has just complicated Chris Viehbacher's near-term employment prospects, I should think.