Fraud against the government ultimately hurts all taxpayers. Citizens pay taxes that help the government to perform vital public services. When the government is defrauded or laws are violated for private gain, it is the people who end up paying the price.
We understand that it takes great courage to come forward and blow the whistle on fraud; however, without the help of whistleblowers, the government and the American taxpayer will continue to lose billions every year due to fraudulent activity.
By filing a lawsuit, the whistleblower may be entitled to receive a substantial financial reward. If the lawsuit is successful in recovering the amount that was defrauded, the whistleblower is entitled to a reward of between 15% and 30% of the total amount recovered.
It is not uncommon for whistleblowers to receive substantial financial rewards, particularly in cases involving Medicare fraud, pharmaceutical company fraud, or fraud against the Department of Defense. Your attorney will negotiate with the Department of Justice so that you receive an award that fully compensates you for the valuable information you have provided.
Whistleblowers who successfully expose fraud against the government do profit financially, but they also set right a wrong and perform a valuable public service.
Who can be a whistleblower?
A whistleblower must have original evidence of the alleged fraud that paints a clear picture of the wrongdoing. ‘Original evidence’ means evidence that is not derived from publicly-available sources (such as newspapers, TV, the Internet, a court record, or a government report), or evidence that is not already known by the government. Original evidence may, however, derive from independent analysis of publicly available information. Non-employees such as independent contractors, subcontractors, private businesses or organizations, public interest groups, outside advisors, customers, and even those with secondhand knowledge of fraud may be able to file whistleblower claims. Also, the person or entity filing the lawsuit need not have been personally harmed by the fraudulent conduct.
What kind of evidence must a whistleblower have?
Firsthand observation of fraud is not necessary, but details of the fraud sufficient to initiate an investigation is needed. Documentary evidence—such as financial records, emails, or memorandums—is often used in whistleblower cases. Some whistleblowers use a personal recording device to obtain evidence at meetings or conferences, or they record phone conversations. If the government gets involved with the case, it may obtain company documents through subpoena and ask the whistleblower for help deciphering the evidence. If you haven’t yet come forward as a whistleblower and are still working on collecting evidence to support your claim, try to obtain evidence that answers the following questions:
- Who is perpetrating the fraud and who else knew/knows about it?
- What violation is taking place?
- When and where did the violation occur?
- How was/is the fraud perpetrated?
- Is the fraud ongoing?
- What are the implications of the fraud for the government/the public?
Potential whistleblowers looking to procure evidence of fraud can speak with our lawyers to learn more about what to do. Our attorneys can answer any questions or concerns you may have, so contact us today.