With recent laws offering monetary bounties to whistleblowers and state False Claims Act laws providing incentives, it’s more important than ever for corporate counsel to have experienced whistleblower attorneys.
Disclosure of a fraud tip to the SEC or other agency can lead to an enforcement action and a possible reward of between 10 and 30 percent of the government’s total recovery.
Representation of Whistleblowers
The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) prohibits retaliation against employees who disclose information about their employer’s fraudulent conduct. Employees may file a whistleblower lawsuit, known as a qui tam suit, on behalf of the government to recover money lost due to fraud. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive substantial awards based on a percentage of recovered funds.
Various federal and state whistleblower laws target a broad range of wrongful activities. These include actions aimed at recovering defrauded federal funds, such as the False Claims Act; securities fraud, such as insider trading and stock manipulation; and procurement fraud, including foreign aid programs.
Nonprofit public interest law firms are stepping up to support whistleblowers and their families, especially those whose cases involve national security or classified information. They provide free legal representation and offer a range of services, including education, peer to peer support, mediation, and engagement with the media. These groups also engage in advocacy and lobby to enact whistleblower protection laws.
Representation of Employees
Whistleblowers play a critical role in helping the government prosecute large corporations that engage in fraud, deception and corruption. They have recovered billions of dollars for the federal and state governments under a variety of statutes and programs, including securities laws, tax laws and the False Claims Act.
If you have witnessed illegal, unethical or fraudulent activities within your company, it is important that you do not delay in contacting a whistleblower attorney. Your lawyer will be able to provide you with the best advice regarding your options and help you determine whether or not your information qualifies for a whistleblower reward under federal or state law.
It can be intimidating to speak out against your employer, but it is vital that you do so. It is illegal for your employer to demote, threaten or discriminate against you in retaliation for reporting these activities. You should contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer right away to ensure that your rights are protected.
Representation of Executives
An executive who reveals illegal activities within a company or government agency may be entitled to significant rewards. These rewards, worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, are meant to compensate executives for their risk of losing their jobs as a result of blowing the whistle on illegal activities.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have whistleblower programs to reward private citizens who disclose information regarding violations of those agencies’ laws and regulations. In addition, these laws allow whistleblowers to remain anonymous.
Whistleblower cases involving alleged misuse of government monies are commonly brought under the False Claims Act. These cases involve health care institutions, defense contractors and other businesses that receive federal funding. Typical claims allege overbilling, fraud in the awarding of contracts, false environmental certifications, and other forms of mismanagement of government funds.