Former Starkey Employee Files Whistleblower Claim
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A former high-ranking Starkey Hearing Foundation employee has filed a whistleblower claim alleging she was fired after raising questions about business practices.
Maria Vanessa Boys Smith says she was terminated after she told executives the foundation was improperly inflating the number of hearing aids it donated during charity missions.
Reports says Boys Smith alleges the foundation claimed it gave away 175,000 hearing aids in 2014, but "would be lucky" to have fitted 100,000.
Starkey Hearing Foundation attorney Elena Baca says the foundation denies the allegations.
Boys Smith worked in director-level positions at the foundation's Los Angeles office until she was fired April 10. She's also suing Starkey Laboratories Inc.
Starkey has been under scrutiny since roughly 20 people were fired in September. Many have been questioned by the FBI.