Why be a Whistleblower?
Regardless of your political persuasion, your view about big or
small government, or even your position on various government
programs, everyone would agree that we need to catch and reduce the
amount of fraud committed on the government. Private citizens
-- whether as consumers, employees, patients or observers -- play a
critical role in tamping down fraud.
All that is necessary for evil
to triumph is for good men to do nothing. --- Edmund
Should I talk to an attorney or a lawyer
about fraud against the government or am I going against my
Not in the eyes of many law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who
want government funds spent properly and efficiently. The False Claims Act,
initially passed by Congress during the Civil War, and re-enacted
several times since then, specifically provides a means for private
persons to bring suspected fraud to the attention of the
government. More than half of the States have also passed laws
similar to the Federal False Claims Act.
How the False Claims Act Law Works for
In addition to providing the means for private citizens to act,
the False Claims Act also puts some serious encouragement behind
those provisions, permitting the whistleblower
to recover 15 - 25% of the funds recovered by the government on
account of the information provided. In the world of
whistleblower attorneys, we call it "incentivizing
integrity." Incentivizing -- giving you a share of the
recovery in acknowledgement of your willingness to step forward and
assist the government. Integrity -- adherence to moral and
ethical principles, trustworthiness, honesty.
Where might I see fraud on the government?
Remember the old adage -- follow the money. Governments
spend huge amounts of money in the areas of health care and
defense, and much of the fraud occurs in those areas. Just
recently, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that
ninety-one people, including doctors, nurses, and other
medical professionals, have been charged with committing $430
million in Medicare
fraud in seven U.S. cities. Some of these professionals
allegedly offered kickbacks to patients and then billed those
kickbacks to Medicare. Giant frauds have been uncovered in
home health services, mental health services, dental services and
ambulance transportation, to name but a few. A recent
government strike force team charged 107 doctors, nurses, and other
licensed medical care professionals in May 2012 for schemes
totaling more than $450 million in false billing.
Frequently these scams threaten patient health, as when drug
manufacturers induce doctors to prescribe unsafe levels of a drug
in order to boost sales or medical device manufacturers falsify
test results to gain approval of potentially dangerous products.
To read further about
Healthcare, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Fraud, click
Smaller scale fraud adds up also. An individual sleep lab
runs unnecessary tests on elderly patients, or a chain of pediatric
dental clinics exaggerates the number of procedures it performs on
children covered by CHIP, or a small company supplies motorized
scooters to Medicare patients who really don't qualify for them --
these can result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in
false billings to the government. The FBI has estimated that
Medicare fraud claims up to 10 percent of all health care billings,
according to independent website The Medicare Newsgroup.
In the defense
contractor fraud arena, substandard goods are sold to the
government, hours on contracts are inflated, or companies lie about
their qualifications as small businesses, or veteran-owned
businesses, or minority-owned businesses. In addition to
wasting millions of dollars of federal funds, these frauds often
result in our military using shoddy or unsafe equipment. In
other areas, also, people cheat and try to get money that they are
not entitled to -- companies that receive grants, companies that
supply school lunches, people who provide home repairs that are
financed by the government after a natural disaster. Fraud
comes in all flavors. To read further about more Federal and State
Whistleblower Laws, click here.
What should you look for to play a role in detecting and
reporting fraud on the government?
This depends on your role in whatever industry or company you
view as suspicious. Employees are often best positioned to
detect and report fraud. You might see falsified invoices,
forged signatures, questionable test results, cover-ups of
defective products, exaggerated payroll records, or anything else
that suggests an effort to overbill the government.
Successful whistleblowers have worked in accounting departments, on
manufacturing lines, in auditing positions, as salespeople, in
R&D, as subcontractors, or anywhere in a company that is
attempting to cheat the government.
As a patient or consumer, carefully check your bills --
especially copies of bills paid by the government, not by
you. Often, you are the only one who will know if a bill has
been inflated or falsified, perhaps when you or your family member
did not actually receive the supplies or services that are
reflected on the bill. As a "consumer" of government
services, pay attention to what is or is not being provided,
perhaps counseling sessions for hospitalized addicts or educational
benefits to disabled veterans. Competitors can also spot
frauds by other companies, particularly where a competing entity
submits an implausible bid or claims to have improbable product
So should you report fraudulent activity that you
Yes, unless you don't mind government funds -- your tax dollars
-- being stolen and diverted from their intended purposes.
Should I be a Whistleblower?
We invite you to learn more about our Whistleblowers, Qui
Tam & False Claims Act Practice Group at Berger &
Montague. For more information or to schedule a confidential
discussion about a potential case, please fill out the contact form
on the right or email us at email@example.com. You can also call us at
How to Report Government Fraud?
There are many ways to report fraud against the government.
It is best to speak to an attorney on how to handle each
individual case. For you free case review and more information,
please fill out the case review form on the right hand side of the
If you have discovered evidence of government fraud,
contact an experienced False Claims Act attorney before blowing the
whistle. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and the legal
protections afforded to whistleblowers under state and federal
laws. The attorneys of Berger & Montague are nationally
recognized experts in Whistleblower/Qui Tam actions with over a
decade of experience pursuing these complex fraud cases. For more
information or to schedule your confidential consultation, use the
form on this page or call us at 1-800-424-6690.
For further reading:
What Whistleblower Clients Can Expect From Our Lawyers
What Makes A Good Whistleblower/Qui Tam Case?
is the Federal False Claims Act?
Federal And State
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