There are many federal, state, and city laws meant to encourage whistleblowers to report fraud against the government and protect them from retaliation when they do. The federal False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to file whistleblower actions against federal contractors for fraud against the government. If successful, the relator (“whistleblower”) may receive a portion of the recovery. Many states (including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) have also enacted whistleblower statutes. Recoveries can be substantial and many of the statutes, including the federal statute, provide for treble damages.
Most state False Claims Acts and the federal False Claims Act also prohibit an employer from harassing or retaliating against an employee for attempting to uncover or report fraud against the government. If retaliation does occur, the whistleblower may be awarded back pay, two times the amount of back pay, litigation costs, and attorney fees.
Successful whistleblower cases have been brought by whistleblowers and their whistleblower attorneys against many types of professionals – defense contractors, research scientists, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals – anyone who possesses inside knowledge about a fraud against the government can file a claim as a relator. The kinds of claims made span the spectrum as well. Cases have been brought for overbilling the government for goods or services, for billing for goods or services not provided, for preparing a false record or false statement in order to get a fraudulent claim paid, for making a false statement to avoid paying a debt to the government, for falsifying research results, and for manipulating procedures, such as upcoding and bundling or unbundling billing codes, in order to overcharge the government.
Recent amendments to the federal False Claims Act have increased the pool of potential defendants, removed judicially imposed impediments to private whistleblower actions, and encouraged whistleblower lawsuits.
Our whistleblower attorneys will work closely with you and commit the time and resources to help you receive compensation for the risks you take to blow the whistle on fraud.