Information for those considering whistleblowing
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A website providing critical information for anyone considering becoming a whistleblower of fraud on the federal or state governments, including what protections are afforded to whistleblowers; who can be a whistleblower; what are the rewards; and what is the process of whistleblowing.
The information provided herein relates to various legal matters of importance in our society and should be considered primarily educational and not for the purpose of answering any specific questions on existing individual cases.
Are you ready to blow the whistle?
Here are some things you need to know:
Do I have a viable case?
If you believe that your employer, or another company/person, is defrauding the government, here are some things to consider before reporting the fraud.
The False Claims Act (Qui Tam) Process
Filing a qui tam lawsuit is not the same as filing an average civil claim. The process is complex and includes these steps.
If you’re considering blowing the whistle, you’re likely wondering “Am I protected?” Certain whistleblowers are protected against retaliation and can maintain anonymity.
The federal government and state governments reward whistleblowers based upon a percentage of the recovered funds resulting from reporting fraud.
Types of Whistleblower Cases
Here are some examples of the most common types of fraud cases–from healthcare fraud to financial fraud and defense contractor fraud.
Finding Legal Counsel
Here are three things to consider when choosing the right whistleblower attorney for your case.
Buy and Hire American Laws
Customs and Tariff Fraud can be False Claims Act Cases With Large Rewards for Whistleblowers
The FDA and customs agents try to track goods imported into the U.S. to make sure that they are allowed to be shipped here and also that the importers pay the appropriate customs duties and tariffs. However, government resources are not enough to examine the 25 million containers that enter the U.S. and the amount of fraud to evade U.S. Tariffs is on the rise.
Intentional Violation of “Buy and Hire American Laws” Resulting in False Claims Act Cases
Federal and State Governments are increasing enforcement of “Buy American Hire American” laws, in light of Executive Order 13788 issued in April 2017. Essentially every contractor and subcontractor on a federally funded project supplying construction materials must certify that the materials used are in compliance with the Buy American Act (BAA) requiring use if domestic materials including steel.
Tariff Evasion Schemes: Keep Illegal China Products from Entering the US
The United States customs authorities are well aware that thousands of Chinese and other foreign goods are being illegally shipped into the U.S. in ways designed to evade U.S. customs duties on such things as steel, honey, furniture, clothing, shrimp, catfish and much more. These products are being “transshipped” from China into other nations and re-labeled to hide their actual country of origin.
False Claims Act (FCA) Case News
The FCA allows private persons to file a “qui tam” suit for violations of the FCA on behalf of the government. The whistleblower is entitled to 15-30% of the proceeds in a successful case. The FCA provides that any person who knowingly submits false claims to the US Government, or causes another to submit a false claim to the Government, is liable for a civil penalty, plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the government.
Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program Case News
The SEC’s Whistleblower Program awards individuals who voluntarily provide the SEC with unique and useful information of financial fraud that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions ordered exceed $1 million.
IRS Whistleblower Case News
The IRS awards individuals who report major tax evasion for both, the federal government and the state governments. Tax evasion includes, among other things: failure to pay taxes in a state where income was earned; failure to pay federal income taxes by both businesses and individuals; maintaining two sets of books regarding income and expenditures.
Binding Morality and Ethics:
4 Reasons to Blow the Whistle
It is a common belief that in the presence of risk, people will instinctively put their own well-being first. But, how does that explain whistleblowers?
Becoming a whistleblower may seem intimidating. It can take years of involvement, patience, and perseverance. Many who choose to become a whistleblower, fear harsh criticism and retaliation. So, what factors motivate someone to risk it all for the benefit of others?
In order to spark change in the midst of a corrupt system, it requires a unique set of traits to motivate someone to step forward and become a whistleblower.
1. An Instilled Sense of Integrity
For many whistleblowers, one of the main motivational factors is an innate drive for justice. These types of whistleblowers have an instilled need to protect their integrity and the integrity of the culture where they work – once fraud is unearthed, they are quick to seek out a way to right the wrong.
2. Providing Protection for Themselves and Others
Many whistleblower cases involve fraud which may result in harm to others. For some whistleblowers, bringing fraud to light may be the only way to secure the protection of their own well-being because of the special whistleblower protections built into the FCA.
3. The Desire to Instigate a Positive Change
There are times when whistleblowers truly respect and are proud of their workplace. In this case, a person may be motivated to become a whistleblower in an effort to improve the future of their company.
4. The Incentive of a Reward
Because the whistleblowing process may require years of perseverance and patience, the financial aspect of the reward provides motivation and financial security.
Has the SEC Violated the First Amendment?
On February 10th, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) announced via twitter their new guidelines for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), a type of funding utilizing cryptocurrencies.
Foreclosure Fraud Netting Nearly $20 Million Leads to Jail Time for 3 Company Managers
According to the Department of Justice, Dorothy Matsuba, Jamie Matsuba, Thomas Matsuba and others committed fraud from 2007 to 2014. They would convince homeowners they could avoid foreclosure through a short sale.
European Union Whistleblower Laws
Soon, people blowing the whistle on fraud, tax evasion, data breaches, and more in the EU will have greater protections under the law. European Commission proposed the new regulations amid criticism over transparency and the lack of protection for whistleblowers.
Massachusetts Physician Accused of Healthcare Fraud Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison
In an attempt to defraud Medicare, Dr. Fathallah Mashali, 62, was sentenced to 8 years in prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $8,725,120 to his victims. This week, Mashali plead guilty to 27 counts of healthcare fraud and 16 counts of money laundering.
More and More Water Contaminants Being Found in U.S. Water Supply
Scientists argue it will be one of the most precious commodities of the future, so why are new water contaminants popping up across the US? According to Technology Networks, contamination can cause widespread damage to the local human and animal populations, just look at the battle raging in Flint, MI.
President Trump and Some Psychiatrists are Advocating for Mental Asylums
The last school shooting in Parkland, Florida is just one in a string of mass shootings that dates back decades. Now, President Trump is calling for more mental asylums to handle mental care of some of society’s most vulnerable people.
Trade Policies Could Kill Off Native Bees
Bee populations around the world have been in decline for years, but many world government and conservation agencies are fighting back by restricting certain types of pesticides and encouraging the growth of native bee populations. However, in Patagonia, trade agreements may be the final nail in the coffin for the region’s native bees.
Amazon Reaches Tax Evasion Settlement with French Authorities
Amazon finally reached a tax evasion settlement with French authorities to cover back taxes, and penalties for failing to report earnings over a stretch of five years. While the amount of the settlement has remained undisclosed, the initial tax bill from French authorities was upwards of 200 million euros.
A 19th Century Law Is Helping Combat Scientific Fraud
The prestigious Duke University is garnering some unwanted attention. The school known for solid academics and a stellar basketball team is now at the heart of a lawsuit over scientific fraud.
Initial Coin Offering Scam Targeted Investors For Fake Decentralized Bank
The Securities and Exchange Commission put a stop to what it is calling an initial coin offering scam. The initial coin offering or ICO apparently targeted retail investors to raise funds for a fake “decentralized bank”.
Resistant Infections Run Rampant During Public Health Crisis but Government Stayed Quiet
An alarming number of infections are gaining a resistance to antibiotics. Bouts of gastrointestinal illnesses, recurring urinary tract infections, and staph are quickly becoming harder and harder to treat.
The Justice Department Can Help Curb Opioid Overdoses
Opioid Crisis It’s a crisis that has landed on the doorstep of many American households; the opioid crisis claims tens of thousands of American lives each year. According to a recent article by The Nation, the Justice Department isn’t putting its best foot forward amid these massive overdoses.
Corporate Fraud is NOT Just a Product of Japan
Japan has been in the news cycle lately for a scandalous reason. The recent headlines about Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi Materials, and Toray have not been favorable ones, as the companies have been involved in fairly large scale corporate fraud plots.
Federal Agent Accepts $20,000 and Other Valuables to Dismiss Indictment on Cocaine Trafficking Kingpin
Former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent, Christopher Ciccione II, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from cocaine kingpin, Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos, to dismiss an indictment of drug trafficking against Piedrahita.
Hospital Groups Suing the Trump Administration Over Drug Subsidies
The American Hospital Association is hoping a lawsuit against the Trump administration will help save a drug subsidies program they claim is designed to help hospitals treat lower-income patients.
Addiction Centers Targeting Unions and Draining Benefits
Imagine being burnt out on the job, or asking for help because of addiction, only to be taken as a virtual prisoner while your union benefits are drained.
Fake Cancer Scam Highlights Needs for Watchdog Websites
It is an ideal that most small towns aspire to, welcoming strangers and helping out new friends. But in this case, that small town charm opened the door for a scam.
Tiny Montana Power Company Tasked with Puerto Rico’s Power
The island of Puerto Rico is still reeling from Hurricane Maria. The devastating storm left the territory 100% in the dark. Right now, power is slowly being restored by a small Montana power company.
Surprising Survey Results Show That Companies Don’t Consider Climate Change a Threat
The numbers, more specifically, financial reports, can say a lot about how companies operate; and in the most recent KPMG survey results of corporate social responsibility, the numbers are quite telling.
Paying the Fine with Fake Mortgages at the Taxpayer’s Expense
It’s serious allegations that could go all the way to the top. JP Morgan may have used fake mortgages to pay off a fine it was hit with after the 2008 financial crash.
Herbalife under investigation for foreign bribery
Millions of Americans make an attempt at dieting multiple times per year according to an ABC News report. And, in order to facilitate these efforts, dietary aids and supplements play a significant role.
Electronic Patient Records and Healthcare Fraud
Ever since the invention of the internet, medical advances based on internet platforms have resulted in significant patient benefits, such as data mining for cures and enhanced physician communications with experts.
Whistle Blown On Wells-Fargo Fraud
Whistleblowing is reporting organized fraudulent conduct through the appropriate channels.
Whistleblowers Fighting Against Ocean Pollution Receive Rewards
The ocean is an expansive and mystifying part of our world. Thousands of known species thrive in its depths, while thousands of unknown species remain a mystery.
eClinicalWorks pays record $155 million to settle whistleblower case of Medicare fraud
eClinicalWorks, one of the country’s largest vendors of electronic health records, will pay $155 million to settle a whistleblower case where it is alleged that it caused health care providers to submit false claims to the federal government.
Major whistleblower settlements and judgments in 2016 — $4.7 Billion worth
More than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgments from whistleblower cases involving fraud against the government were recovered in 2016.
European Commission targets Google parent, Alphabet Inc., with $2.71 Billion fine for antitrust
The European Commission has fined Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., $2.71 billion for allegedly favoring its own comparison shopping service in search results.