If you’re working for a company that is involved in fraud, you may be entitled to a large financial reward for doing the right thing and blowing the whistle. The fact is the government offers people money all the time for turning in fraudulent companies, and you could be next.
Why Does the Government Do This?
The government does this because of the False Claims Act (31 USC § 3729). The False Claims Act is a law that first came about during the Civil War. Essentially, the government was doing business with a number of contractors at the time to keep up with the war effort. Because so many contractors were involved, it became difficult for the government to keep track of expenditures, and this led some contractors to cheat the government out of money. As a result, the False Claims Act was passed, and in it, the government agrees to give money to individuals who turn in fraudulent contractors.
What’s the Process?
If you’d like to take advantage of the False Claims Act and blow the whistle on your company, you first need to realize that the process can be lengthy and complex. Essentially, you will be suing your employer on behalf of the government, and when you win your case, you receive a portion of the judgement while the rest goes to the government. In most cases, it’s recommended that you partner with an attorney to file your lawsuit.
Why Use an Attorney?
As mentioned, the process of blowing the whistle and suing your employer can be complex, but experienced whistleblower attorneys will have an understanding of how to go about expediting things. Additionally, your attorney will know how to investigate your claims to provide the correct evidence. Finally, your attorney will protect your rights and even speak for you in court, and this can save you from making statements that may harm your case.
Things to Consider First
Before you decide to actually go through with becoming a whistleblower; you’ll need to consider a few things. First, consider how blowing the whistle will affect your family and personal life. In some cases, whistleblowers become the targets of media attention, and while this isn’t always a bad thing, it can be if the press turns on you. Second, you’ll need to think about how blowing the whistle will affect your career.
After you blow the whistle, you more than likely will not be working for your employer anymore, and even if you keep your job, you probably won’t want to continue working there. You should also consider how blowing the whistle might affect future job prospects. Under some circumstances, whistleblowers gain a poor reputation within the business community, and this can make it harder to find a job down the road.
In the end, however, blowing the whistle isn’t about a financial reward – it’s about doing the right thing. Keep in mind that defrauding the government hurts everyone in the form of higher taxes and less public services. As a result, fraud can wreak havoc on the country’s economy, and this ultimately hurts workers. While it may be a difficult choice to make, you’ll need to truly consider how you’ll be helping people by blowing the whistle.
Guest Author: Legal researcher Shelby Warden contributes this article so that people will know that the rewards for reporting a fraud can be immense. The whistleblower attorneys at Goldberg Kohn secured the largest judgment in the history of the False Claims Act. They will work to protect your rights while you fight fraud and help you receive as large a share of any recovery as possible.