You may see the word “whistleblower” and think of big stories involving the U.S. Government, such as the Pentagon Papers or Edward Snowden. But whistleblowers are not just meant for the biggest and largest entities. A whistleblower is a person who tells the federal or state government (or one of their departments) about illegal, fraudulent, or dishonest conduct of a person or an organization. They serve to keep people and companies in check when they are behaving badly or acting wrongfully towards the people they serve.
WHY SHOULD I BE A WHISTLEBLOWER?
One thing that assists whistleblowers is The False Claims Act, a federal law that provides an avenue for whistleblowers to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government if there is real fraud. As an incentive, whistleblowers may be entitled to a portion of the recovery of the resulting lawsuit by exposing the wrongdoer and recovering stolen or maliciously obtained funds for the government. The final numbers depend on a variety of factors, including the type of fraud, extent of the damages, and the whistleblower’s own contributions, but awards for whistleblowers can be 10% to 30% of the total recovery.
WHAT TYPES OF WHISTLEBLOWER ACTIONS ARE THERE?
Whistleblower actions (also known as qui tam actions) can be brought anytime an individual or an organization defrauds the government. There is no “one size fits all” with qui tam actions, but frequently qui tam actions can be brought in a number of common ways:
- Contractor Fraud: when the contractor obtains the government contract based on illegal or illegitimate means.
- Healthcare Fraud: when a person or an organization violates laws that govern Medicare and Medicaid.
- General Service of Administration Fraud: when a contractor provides a pricing other than its “best pricing” to the government. GSA contractors are required to provide their “best price,” meaning their best price to consumers at large. If the price to the government is found to be higher than their price to consumers are larger, a qui tam action could be brought.
- Defense Contract Fraud: when a defense contractor defrauds the government by charging for services that do not exist or were never rendered, or providing defective or insufficient quality services and products.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
To learn more about these issues, or if you know of a person or entity who is defrauding the government and you want to launch a qui tam action as a whistleblower, please contact one of our attorneys using our general contact form, call us at (856) 772-7200, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org