Many employees who encounter fraud in the workplace choose to blow the whistle on their employer because of a sense of ethical responsibility and civic duty. If you come forward to put a stop to fraud, you might be entitled to a whistleblower reward, a well-deserved share of the government’s recovery. If you are considering making a claim and seeking whistleblower protection, contact Loevy + Loevy to discuss your case with our knowledgeable lawyers.
Experienced Whistleblower Protection
Loevy + Loevy has extensive experience litigating whistleblower cases throughout the United States. We know the particular needs of whistleblower clients and always maintain the strictest confidentiality. We will never use your information for any purpose other than pursuing the best possible result in your case.
Our attorneys handle a wide range of whistleblower cases under state and federal False Claims Acts, or “qui tam” cases, as well as under SEC and other whistleblower programs.
Medicare & Medicaid Fraud
Medicare and Medicaid fraud is one of the top enforcement priorities of the Department of Justice, as this medical insurance fraud can result in the loss of tens of billions of dollars every year. The Department of Justice uses the False Claims Act to punish the perpetrators of this fraud and reward the whistleblowers who make the recovery possible. If you are aware of Medicare or Medicaid coverage or reimbursement fraud, it could be in your best interest to make a whistleblower, also known as “qui tam”, claim.
Defense Contractor Fraud
Whistleblower cases go hand-in-hand with war profiteering and defense contractor fraud. In fact, Congress originally passed the False Claims Act during the Civil War in order to counteract rampant fraud by profiteers who sold shoddy goods to the Union Army at inflated prices. Today, corruption, waste, fraud and abuse still play a large role during wars as deceitful contractors seek to make a quick dollar off the taxpayer. If your employer is undertaking contracts to provide goods or services to the military and not living up to them, you could bring a whistleblower claim against them which would entitle you significant compensation if the government reclaims their money.
There are a variety of activities for which whistleblowers can claim a bounty under the False Claims Act, including:
- Diversion of government monies to personal profits or non-authorized uses
- Use of inflated invoices to over-bill for goods or services
- Reporting inflating costs on a cost reimbursement or “costs plus” contract
- Falsifying data used to negotiate a fixed fee contract
- Knowing or reckless violation of contract terms, particularly when coupled with a false certification or representation about the goods or services
If your employer is undertaking contracts to provide goods or services to the military and not living up to them, you could bring a whistleblower claim against them which would entitle you to a bounty if the government reclaims their money.
SEC & Financial Fraud
Conscientious individuals in the financial industry now have an avenue to shed light on fraud and obtain a whistleblower award for their efforts. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the financial reform bill passed in the wake of the financial crisis, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created the SEC Whistleblower Program that covers a broad range of fraudulent conduct, including securities violations and many other forms of misconduct. Individuals who bring information to the SEC through the Whistleblower Program receive an award of up to 30% of any money recovered by the SEC.
Just recently, an SEC whistleblower was awarded $14 million for providing information that led to the recovery of fraudulently-obtained investor funds. The enforcement action resulting in the $14 million award was completed just six months after the SEC whistleblower’s tip.
At Loevy + Loevy, we have represented some of the first whistleblowers to take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower Program. We have some of the best trial lawyers in the nation, and our legal team can help you formulate your claim and guide you through the process of becoming eligible for a whistleblower award.
The SEC Whistleblower Program covers a broad range of fraud, including securities violations and many other forms of misconduct.
Construction and Minority Business Fraud
Federal, state, and local governments spend billions of dollars on construction projects every year. Often, these contracts go to prime contractors and subcontractors that cut corners, deliver substandard results, and provide worthless services. In these cases, the federal False Claims Act and state and local false claims statutes allow construction fraud whistleblowers to come forward to help the government recover the money that has been lost to fraud. In the event of a recovery, such whistleblowers are awarded a share of what the government recovers.
One common example of construction fraud is related to disadvantaged business enterprises, also known as minority- and woman-owned business entities (“M/WBEs”). M/WBE fraud occurs when a prime contractor misrepresents to the government that the prime contractor will spend a certain amount of the contract value on subcontractors that are legitimate M/WBEs. In this case, instead of using an M/WBE to provide legitimate, commercially-useful goods or services, the prime contractor arranges for an M/WBE to act as a front or a “pass-through” without performing any actual work.
Loevy + Loevy has significant experience representing whistleblowers in construction and M/WBE fraud matters. For example, in 2014, the United States and the State of Illinois intervened in and settled for $12 million a case we filed on behalf of our client Ryan Keiser. In that case, Mr. Keiser alleged that McHugh Construction used pass-through M/WBEs on a number of heavy construction contracts in Illinois.
Sales Tax Fraud
Typically, when you or I purchase a product, we owe sales taxes to a state or city; the seller collects the taxes and holds the money in trust. The seller is expected to pay all of the money over to the State, usually on a monthly basis. But, in a disturbing number of cases, the seller will cheat by skimming all or a portion of the money. The money should go to provide important services for local citizens—like funding schools and fixing potholes—but instead it is being pocketed by unscrupulous businesses.
If you have knowledge of sales tax fraud at a company you work for, you may be able to help states and cities recover money paid by consumers, and earn a whistleblower award for helping to bring the fraud to an end. Indeed, as many states and cities struggle to pay the bills to provide essential services, more and more of them are looking to crackdown on sales tax cheats to recoup lost taxes.
Loevy + Loevy’s whistleblower attorneys are highly experienced and have expertise in filing sales tax fraud cases under state qui tam laws. We can help you report tax fraud in a way that will attract the attention of government investigators, and ensure that you are eligible for a whistleblower award for bringing the fraud to the government’s attention.
CARES Act Fraud
We are currently investigating potential fraud claims related to the CARES Act of March 27, 2020. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes bailouts, grants, loans, and other payments to businesses as part of the United States government’s response to the novel coronavirus. Following the 2008/2009 financial crisis, the United States implemented similar programs, including TARP and HAMP. Several of the big businesses that received those payments did so through fraud against the government. It is likely that some of the companies receiving the $2 trillion in the CARES Act will also commit fraud. In order to obtain CARES Act money, corporations will need to meet certain conditions. If those companies lie about meeting those conditions, that is fraud. Those companies will also have certain obligations, including to their workers, if they receive those funds. If they lie about satisfying those conditions, that is also fraud. The False Claims Act is an incredibly powerful tool to blow the whistle on corporate fraud used to obtain CARES Act money and defraud the government and American taxpayers. Whistleblowers who come forward and help the government expose corporate fraud and recover ill-gotten gains are eligible to recover between 15-30 percent of the funds.
Declined Qui Tam Cases
If the government has declined to intervene in your case, the first thing to remember is: you are not alone. U.S. Department of Justice statistics indicate that fewer than 25% of all qui tam actions result in intervention on any claim. That means that each year, hundreds of whistleblowers are left with a very trying decision: abandon a case that has already taken years, damaging your career and personal life; or go at it alone, battling powerful defrauders and sometimes even the government agencies.
At Loevy + Loevy, we can help. We have the knowledge and experience to advise you about whether to relinquish your qui tam lawsuit or continue to fight on. Most importantly, if your suit is viable (as many declined qui tam cases are), we have the resources and wherewithal to take over your representation at the point of declination, prepare your case for trial, and win.
The fact is, Congress gave whistleblowers private attorney general powers precisely because the government does not always pursue the legitimate cases. While the government’s investigation sometimes uncovers a genuine insurmountable problem with the fraud case, all too often the government’s decision to not intervene stems from a poor investigation. Bad declinations can result from laziness, disinformation by the high-paid lawyers who defend the defrauders, and even cover-ups by the victim government agencies that are embarrassed for being asleep at the wheel or too entwined with the government contractors that routinely bilk them.
Protections Against Retaliation
State and Federal False Claims Acts prohibit whistleblower retaliation and provide meaningful remedies if the employer doesn’t abide, such as:
- Double back pay
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
If you involve an attorney early enough, we may be able to achieve an injunction, stopping the retaliation before it has a chance to cause more serious harm to your career.Learn how we guided our client through the whistleblower process during the recent McHugh whistleblower case, which resulted in a $12 million settlement here.
A Rare Opportunity to Do Well By Doing Good
Whistleblower rewards can be substantial. In the last decade alone, whistleblowers under the U.S. False Claims Act have recovered over $10,000,000,000 for the United States and received over $1,600,000,000 in reward money.
Nationwide Whistleblower Litigation Experience
Our firm has experience litigating whistleblower cases throughout the United States and we know the ins and outs of the whistleblower laws around the country. We also know the particular needs of whistleblower clients and always maintain the strictest confidentiality. We will never use your information for any purpose other than pursuing the best possible result in your case.
Commitment for the Long Haul
When we take a case, it’s because we believe in it and are prepared to stay in for the long haul. Even though many cases eventually reach settlement, we hold defrauders’ feet to the fire with an eye toward getting each case into a courtroom.
We Only Get Paid If You Do
We always work on a contingency basis in whistleblower cases, so you will not be on the hook for any attorney fees unless we win.