Whistleblower Rewards

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I Have Discovered That My Employer Has Knowingly Submitted False Bills To The Federal Government.  Can I Get Anything in Reward if I Become a Whistleblower?

Yes, the False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to be rewarded with a percentage of the money that the government recovers from its lawsuit against the employer.  This stipulation was created to encourage people to assist the government in stopping fraud on Medicare and other governmental programs, despite the effect whistleblowing may have on a person's job and personal life.  If the employer fires the whistleblower unfairly as a result of their actions, the whistleblower can separately sue the employer for reinstatement, legal fees, and double their lost pay.

What Can I Get From the Government as a Whistleblower?

A whistleblower can receive 15 percent to 30 percent of any funds that are reimbursed to the government as a result of their investigation.  If the government decides to join the case and pursue a criminal prosecution, the whistleblower will receive 15 to 25 percent of the recovered funds.  If the government does not join the case but the whistleblower sues their employer regardless and wins, the whistleblower will receive 25 to 30 percent of the recovered funds.  In all cases, the government will compensate the whistleblower for legal fees.

What Happens if the Employer Decides to Settle a Whistleblower Lawsuit?

If the fraudulent employer decides to settle their overbilling dispute with the government, the whistleblower will more likely receive a smaller percentage of the recovered amount (i.e. closer to 15%).  While the amount is smaller, the whistleblower will receive their reward much faster than waiting years for a trial. 

When Should I Raise My Whistleblower Claim?

You should act quickly if you learn your employer is overcharging the government.  If you raise your whistleblower claim after the public becomes aware of the problem, your claim will likely be denied.  Therefore, you should not speak to anyone about the matter (especially coworkers and friends) to prevent the news from becoming public.

Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help Me Receive a Whistleblower Reward?  

Accusing your employer of fraud against the government is a very serious charge that can lead to a great deal of stress in your life.  The reward of a successful whistleblower lawsuit can compensate the risk, but an allegation alone will subject your employer to a government investigation that you will not be able to stop even if you drop your lawsuit.  Consult an attorney to learn more about your rights, the consequences of filing suit, and the rewards if you are successful.

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Last Modified: 04-29-2010 04:10 PM PDT

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