Jim Marchese, of the New Jersey Marcheses, is now 2 for 2 on whistleblower awards, an outcome he attributes to his Italian heritage and Garden State residency.
The small mortgage firm Mr. Marchese owns in Shrewsbury, N.J., most recently collected $8.5 million for helping kindle the Justice Department’s record $16.65 billion settlement last summer with Bank of America Corp., which was accused of selling shoddy mortgage investments in the run-up to the financial crisis. Before that, in 2007, Mr. Marchese received $1.6 million after reporting his former employer, a Seattle pharmaceuticals firm now called CTI BioPharma Corp., for allegedly defrauding Medicare. “I’m trained as an attorney, I’m Sicilian, and I’m from New Jersey,” said Mr. Marchese, 45 years old. “If I see you kick a puppy, I’m going to say something. It’s not within me to not say something.”
In related news, if you're looking to put a face to the payout:
Let the above tongue-lashing be a warning to any judges thinking of pulling anything like the last time around:
[In the CTI BioPharma Corp case] Mr. Marchese submitted a claim for 25% of the award, as allowed by law, but prosecutors took the unusual step of asking a judge to deny the payment. In court filings, the Justice Department said he had initiated the scheme while working as a drug rep and then covered up his role. A judge ruled in Mr. Marchese’s favor and awarded him 15% of the settlement, or $1.6 million, though she said he should have brought his concerns to the government more quickly. Mr. Marchese says it took him a few months to act as he pondered the consequences of stepping forward, and points out that his colleagues remained silent. He says a personality dispute led to the Justice Department’s attempt to deny him the reward money.