Attorneys Helping Workers Report Corporate Misconduct Nationwide
The attorneys at the Whistleblower Law Firm provide knowledgeable and skilled advocacy for workers who want to report a company’s violation of federal or state laws. Our whistleblower lawyers are dedicated to representing individuals nationwide who have witnessed illegal business practices. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases, and we can help you protect your rights while bringing to light corporate and individual misconduct. If you are aware of illegal activity, contact us today to learn about your rights and how we can help.
Lawsuits Under the False Claims Act
Federal and state statutes encourage individuals to come forward if they have witnessed fraud or other misconduct against the government. The primary vehicle to pursue these actions at the federal level is the False Claims Act (FCA). This law makes it illegal to knowingly submit or cause someone else to submit an inaccurate claim to the government, or to deliberately make incorrect statements or records to get money from it.
One important component of the FCA is its qui tam provision. This allows individuals to bring an action on behalf of the government for a violation. People with direct knowledge of fraudulent activities, such as current or former employees, are typical plaintiffs in a qui tam claim. They are known as “relators.” If the government decides to intervene in a qui tam action, the individual can receive anywhere between 15 and 25 percent of the eventual recovery award. If the government decides not to step in, but the relator proceeds anyway, he or she can receive 25 to 30 percent of the compensation.
The FCA generally covers federally funded contracts or programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Tax fraud, however, is specifically excluded from the FCA.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers incentives to people who report incidents of tax fraud under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. Unlike the FCA, an individual cannot act on the government’s behalf for tax fraud or evasion but can only report it to the IRS, which will decide whether to proceed with the case. The alleged violation has to exceed $2 million in total value, including taxes, penalties, and interest. If a claim is made against an individual, that person’s income must exceed $200,000 for the year involved.
If the case is successful, a whistleblower may receive an award ranging from 15 to 30 percent of the monetary damages collected by the government. The IRS, however, may decide to reduce the amount to 10 percent if, for example, the disclosure is based on public information.
Securities Law Violations
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act, was passed in 2010 as part of an overhaul of the financial regulatory system. This law incentivizes and protects whistleblowers who provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with original information about a violation under the federal securities law or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If the government recovers sanctions that exceed $1 million, the individual can receive between 10 and 30 percent of the total awarded amount.
In addition to financial incentives, whistleblowers are also afforded certain legal protections. Federal and state laws often shield them from retaliatory acts. Employers cannot demote, suspend, discriminate, or make threats against employment for legally protected conduct under the relevant law. The Dodd-Frank Act, for example, prohibits entities from firing or demoting workers who provide or disclose legally protected information to the SEC. The Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who reveal wrongdoing or fraud within a government agency.
Despite these rules, an employer may still make the unwise decision to retaliate. If this occurs, the relaltor may be entitled to certain forms of relief. He or she may seek reinstatement, double back pay with interest, and the cost of litigation.
Qui Tam Lawyers Serving Individuals Nationwide
The Whistleblower Law Firm represents clients in qui tam and related matters nationwide. Our attorneys bring more than 200 years of combined legal experience to expose corporate misconduct and protect the rights of workers. If you have witnessed illegal business practices, we can help you expose them. Many of our clients come from Los Angeles, New York, and Florida. For a confidential consultation, call our office today at (866) 558-4259. You can also contact us through our online form.