Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Whistle blowing 101

A whistleblower “blows the whistle” on misconduct by reporting concerns about alleged illegal or fraudulent conduct to the appropriate authorities. The alleged wrongful conduct might be healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud, sexual harassment, investment fraud, environmental contamination, or other kinds of corporate misconduct.

Whatever the fraud, a whistleblower needs a whistleblower lawyer.

There are a number of ways to “blow the whistle” depending on who the “victim” of the fraud is. If a whistleblower believes that an individual or an entity knowingly submitted a false claim or claims to the United States government (or one of the state governments), the whistleblower may be able to recover funds for the government via “qui tam” litigation. In exchange for blowing the whistle and helping the government recover money it should not have paid out, the successful whistleblower is entitled to receive a portion of the funds the government recovers as a reward.

In 2011 the federal government opened new whistleblower programs to help protect shareholders and other investors against securities and commodities trading related frauds under the new Dodd-Frank Act.

Of course, blowing the whistle on corporate misdeeds focuses a lot of attention on the whistleblower, and not all of it favorable. An employee who exposes illegal corporate practices may put his employment at risk, despite whistleblower protection laws designed to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. An employer may harass a whistleblower or outright fire the whistleblower as punishment for exposing wrongful activities. If that happens, the whistleblower should immediately hire a whistleblower lawyer as the whistleblower may have a retaliation claim. A whistleblower can sue the employer to recover monetary damages resulting from the wrongful termination. The whistleblower lawyers at Keller Grover LLP know how to prosecute whistleblower cases, including any whistleblower retaliation claims, and how to achieve just results, either by trying these cases in court or by entering into whistleblower settlement agreements outside of court.

Before blowing the whistle on fraud or on other corporate misdeeds, seek the advice of whistleblower lawyers who know and understand the laws that apply to these cases. The qui tam lawyers at Keller Grover LLP not only know how to expose fraud when pursuing claims for whistleblowing clients but also how to maximize their clients’ rewards.

Contact the whistleblower attorneys at Keller Grover LLP.

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