Federal and State Whistleblower Laws
The following statutes are the focus of virtually all successful whistleblower/qui tam actions:
- The Federal False Claims Act
- State Whistleblower Laws
- The IRS Tax Fraud Program
- The SEC/CFTC Programs
The Federal False Claims Act
On behalf of its clients, Berger Montague’s Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Group utilizes the federal False Claims Act to seek legal redress against companies who have defrauded the federal government through any number of fraudulent schemes.
Successful whistleblower actions under the False Claims Act generally entitle the whistleblower to a reward ranging between 15% and 30% of the Government’s overall recovery. Specifically, if the government intervenes in the case (that is, decides to file its own case based on the information provided by the whistleblower), the reward is generally between 15% and 25% of the Government’s recovery. If the Government declines to intervene in the case and the whistleblower and his or her lawyers decide to pursue the case without Government support, the reward is generally between 25% and 30% of the Government’s recovery.
State Whistleblower Laws
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted False Claims Acts. Although there are some differences among these laws, they are generally modeled after the federal False Claims Act, and they all have similar whistleblower reward provisions.
One distinguishing feature in the New York statute provides that a whistleblower can pursue a qui tam action against a company for New York State tax fraud. This is an extremely helpful difference and can be utilized to recover substantial amounts of money damages.
The IRS Tax Fraud Program
Pursuant to the IRS Tax Fraud Program, a whistleblower who reports tax fraud committed against the federal government can receive between 15% and 30% of the amount recovered, which includes the aggregate of tax due, interest and penalties.
There are two IRS Whistleblower Office limitations to receiving whistleblower rewards. First, if the wrongdoer is a company, the amount recovered must be more than $2 million for the whistleblower to be entitled to a reward. Second, if the wrongdoer is an individual, the person’s annual income must be more than $200,000.
The SEC/CFTC Whistleblower Programs
Pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Programs, a whistleblower who reports a violation of the securities and/or commodities trading laws, such as insider trading, improper management of collateralized debt obligations, money laundering, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, can receive between 10% and 30% of the penalty amount paid by the wrongdoer to the government. The penalty amount must be more than $1 million for the whistleblower to be entitled to a reward.
Do you need a Whistleblower Lawyer or want to know more information about Qui Tam Law and your rights under the False Claims Act?
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- Use the contact form on this page
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