A whistleblower may be authorized to proceed with a qui tam legal claim on behalf of the government. For an idea, here are five tips for reporting fraud and who might qualify as whistleblowers.
The “Qui Tam Lawyers” is a law firm that specializes in whistleblower lawsuits. The “How to Report Fraud” article provides information on how to report fraud and what the process is like.
A whistleblower is a person or organization that exposes unethical or unlawful action by another person or organization. Whistleblowers are protected and rewarded under several federal and state laws for revealing criminal activities against the American people.
A whistleblower is someone who exposes a person or organization’s illegal actions. Reporting unlawful conduct might result in cash benefits for whistleblowers.
Many businesses, including healthcare, military, pharmaceutical sales, manufacturing, education, construction, and finance, provide cash incentives to whistleblowers who disclose wrongdoing. The majority of these regulations pertain to those who report corporate wrongdoing against the government or taxpayers.
Many more laws now exist to safeguard individuals who have the courage and integrity to speak up against corporate greed across sectors, thanks to the work of whistleblowers and their allies in government. Our qui team attorneys can assist you in filing a case if you need to report fraud. For a free, no-obligation evaluation, please contact us.
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Criteria for Cases
Whistleblowers come in various forms, but the most complete protection and compensation rules apply to workers and contractors who assist the government in recovering public funds.
We typically represent people who have proof of widespread fraud by their company and/or colleagues and are ready to sue on behalf of the federal government.
Here are five sectors and circumstances when a whistleblower may be required:
- Patient damage in the healthcare industry (kickbacks, generic medicine replacement, “upcoding”)
- Pharmaceutical marketing strategies that are dangerous (e.g., Purdue Pharma)
- In the financial sector, there is a lot of greed (as outlined by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act)
- Defects in the automobile industry that endanger people’s lives (e.g., Takata)
- Hazards to the environment in vulnerable communities (e.g., the Calumet lead crisis)
Because the government fails to participate in an estimated 80% of qui tam actions, whistleblowers need an experienced legal team to lead them through the process of gathering evidence, making a claim, and pushing for the maximum potential compensation.
Keep in mind that the government wants comprehensive, detailed proof of a systematic fraud plan in order to launch a qui tam case. Individuals who do not have access to such proof, such as individuals who have left the firm and have no remaining inside connections, may find it difficult to persuade the government to interfere.
Protections for Whistleblowers
When an employee challenges an effort to have a false or fraudulent claim paid for or authorized by the federal government, he or she is engaging in protected action under the False Claims Act. In most cases, the employee has three years from the date of the retaliation to file a lawsuit.
Importantly, the employee may have participated in protected behavior even if he or she did not file a whistleblower lawsuit but just examined the suspected fraudulent activities or made an internal complaint with his or her company. Back pay, front pay, reinstatement, and damages for any pain and suffering suffered as a consequence of the retaliation may be available to a whistleblower.
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Whistleblower behavior that is protected may also apply to those who aren’t employees (such as contractors). Previous judgements may have an influence on your circumstance since the courts are continuously reinterpreting protected whistleblower action.
Contact us immediately to see how we can assist you if you have been fired or otherwise retaliated against for blowing the whistle on your company.
Despite the fact that the whistleblower may be aware of the fraudulent behavior, he or she is seldom the one who thought up and profited from filing false claims with the government. In the vast majority of situations, the government does not examine the whistleblower’s actions.
In the vast majority of situations, the government does not examine the whistleblower’s actions.
Our lawyers may be able to negotiate immunity in return for the whistleblower’s full assistance with the inquiry if the whistleblower was engaged in planning the fraudulent conduct. In circumstances when the whistleblower has information of a large business plan involving executive-level personnel, the government is often prepared to offer whistleblower protection.
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Whistleblowers have anonymity.
Qui tam actions are kept “under secret” until the claim is investigated under federal and state False Claims Acts. Case information may not be seen by the accused (e.g., your employer) or the general public during this time. When a case is unsealed, however, it becomes a public affair, and the name of a whistleblower may be revealed.
People may discover the name of a whistleblower if the case is unsealed.
Whistleblowers may submit material anonymously in other sorts of whistleblower lawsuits, such as those filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), with the assistance of an attorney. Even if a whistleblower presents material anonymously, it may be required to disclose records to outside organizations that expose a whistleblower’s identity in court proceedings or other situations.
If you are concerned about your name being protected in a whistleblower case, please talk with one of our lawyers to learn about the anonymity protections provided by relevant statutes.
Whistleblowers are rewarded for their efforts.
Whistleblowers who disclose fraud and lead to a successful government action, such as a settlement or punishment, are now entitled for 15% to 25% of the amount recovered by the government. The exact percentage granted is determined by a number of criteria, including the value of the whistleblower’s information, the type of the fraud, and the total punishment amount.
Speak Up in a Secure Environment
It would be significantly more difficult for the government to halt fraud in its tracks without whistleblowers. Despite the fact that many organizations continue to attempt to get away with fraud, a 2016 research from the University of Iowa found that whistleblower cases eventually improve company conduct. That type of influence is significant when it comes to topics like public health, environmental safety, and economic success.
To find out whether you qualify to pursue a whistleblower claim, contact us now.
The “who can be a whistleblower according to the qui tam provisions in the false claims act?” is a question that has been asked by many people. The answer is that an individual who has knowledge of fraud or other illegal activity can be a whistleblower.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if a qui tam lawsuit is not successful?
A: If a person sues on behalf of the government and does not successfully receive payment, they will likely be required to pay back the money that was spent.
Are whistleblowers protected under the False Claims Act?
A: False Claims Act
How do I file a False Claims Act?
A: A false claims act is a law put in place to allow citizens of the United States to sue if they are harmed by fraud, deceit, or deception.
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