Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing is an act of bravery - both because it requires speaking out and because it places the whistleblower in a vulnerable position for retaliation. Retaliating against a whistleblower is illegal. In many cases, so too is the behavior being reported. This is not reassuring. Especially when the actions being reported may involve supervisors or those in a position to harm you and your family financially.
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If you have witnessed fraudulent activity that involved your company or corporation defrauding the government, you may want to choose to be a whistleblower and reveal this fraud to an attorney and the government. Whistleblowers are protected under the Federal Claims Act and can receive a percentage of a cash award or settlement should the case go agains the fraudulent company. Please view this infographic for more information:
Because of the federal government's size and the amount of money it can bring to bear on certain problems, it is a tempting target for fraudsters. The False Claims Act, initially passed during the Civil War, imposes financial penalties on companies that defraud federal programs.
Off-label drug promotion schemes have the potential to hurt millions of patients, not just in terms of their health, but in their pocketbooks as well. Luckily, one such scheme was recently uncovered by a whistleblower and the company involved was forced to agree to a large settlement.
A study found that doctors commonly prescribe medications for off-label use, but almost never inform their patients of the fact. Using medications in this manner would not meet with approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All drugs that reach the market have gone through clinical trials in order to determine their efficacy and safety in their intended purpose. Once the FDA feels the medication has met all of its requirements, it then approves the label for the medication. The drug is then used for its intended purpose according to the label.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been running a new bounty program for about a year, promising cash pay outs to those who submit valid tips against fraudulent business practices. Those that alert the SEC - whistleblowers - could make hundreds of thousands of dollars for alerting the SEC of wrongdoing.
The number of whistleblower cases against large corporations is on the rise. The Justice Department has collected over $8 billion in these types of cases over the past three years. Some experts expect the number of civil fraud cases and the related settlements to more than double in the next year
Many may believe that they can fly under the radar when scamming the government, thinking that the amount that they take is so small that it will go unnoticed. The government, however, has other ideas and takes schemes to defraud the American taxpayers very seriously. Several medical professionals recently learned just how serious the government protects taxpayer money.
Implanting Defective Cardiac Devices Compromised Patient Safety, Says DOJ
Thanks to yet another qui tam action under the False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is working to recoup federal dollars from a medical device manufacturer for implanting defective devices in Medicare patients.
Over three billion dollars in stolen money was recovered by the U.S. Department of Justice in fiscal year 2010 - stolen money that was tracked down thanks to whistleblowers.
According to the advocacy group Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, more than 80 percent of all successful recoveries under the False Claims Act are due to whistleblower reports. The False Claims Act allows third parties, or whistleblowers, to sue contractors suspected of committing fraud against the government.