Federal, State, and Local Whistleblower Laws
The following statutes are the basis of virtually all whistleblower/qui tam actions:
- Federal False Claims Act
- State False Claims Acts
- Local Government False Claims Acts
- Whistleblower Programs by Various Federal Agencies (Internal Revenue Service, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission)
The Federal False Claims Act
On behalf of its clients, Berger Montague’s Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act practice 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 an award ranging between 15% and 30% of the Government’s overall recovery. Specifically, if the government decides to actively join the case based on the information provided by the whistleblower (known as a government intervention), the award 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 pursue the case without Government support, the award is generally between 25% and 30% of the Government’s recovery.
State False Claims Acts
32 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 award provisions. The key distinction is that the federal False Claims Act pertains to fraud upon the federal government, while the state laws pertain to fraud upon state governments.
Many (but not all) of the state statutes also cover fraud against local government entities in addition to state government entities.
The following states each have their own false claims acts:
- California (California also has a unique law called the California Insurance Fraud Prevention Act that allows whistleblowers to report fraud upon private insurance companies)
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Local Government False Claims Acts
In addition, six local governments have enacted their own False Claims Acts or False Claims Ordinances, which prohibit fraud against local government entities.
- Allegheny County (Pennsylvania)
- Broward County (Florida)
- Miami-Dade County (Florida)
- New York City
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 an award. 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, or violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, can receive between 10% and 30% of any penalty paid by the wrongdoer to the government. The penalty amount must be more than $1 million for the whistleblower to be entitled to an award.
Contact a Whistleblower Lawyer
Do you need a whistleblower lawyer, or do you want to know more about qui tam law?
There are three easy ways to contact our firm:
- Fill out the Request A Free Consultation form on this page.
- Email [email protected]
- Call (844) 781-3088
Your information will remain confidential while we evaluate your potential claims and we will work with you to protect your rights.