Reporting fraud is daunting. However, many times its necessary. We often come into contact with employees who have recently discovered their employer is committing fraud. Or even worse, the company has retaliated against or terminated the employee.
We understand that coming across fraud and considering options to report fraud is unpleasant position to be in. We also understand that the employee is scared and about to step into the vast unknown. For example, the employee might be wondering what about my livelihood and career? If I report fraud, will my co-workers and friends get in trouble? What is in it for me and my family if I come forward and report fraud?
When a person is in this position, it is important to understand your rights. To that end, you should contact a lawyer to help you navigate and decide the best way to report fraud.
What Type of Fraud?
This website and the pages therein deal with a specific type of fraud reporting. If you would like assistance in evaluating whether or not to report fraud, these are the types of fraud we can help you with:
- any fraud involving government money (most likely healthcare fraud or government contracting fraud)
- fraud on private insurance companies in California
- fraud by a car manufacturer
- securities fraud (not related to government money)
What Type of Whistleblower Laws Are Available to Report Fraud?
Now that you understand what types of fraud we can assist with, we can provide an overview of the laws involved in reporting fraud. These laws are generally referred to as “whistleblower laws”. Each type of fraud described below has a specific whistleblower law.
For example, if you seek to report fraud involving government money, the Federal False Claims Act and State False Claims Acts would be utilized. Under these laws a complaint is filed in Court under seal. The government then has the opportunity to investigate and make an intervention decision. If the government declines, the whistleblower can continue the case. If there is a recovery, the whistleblower will receive 15-30% of the proceeds recovered.
Fraud on Private Insurance Companies in California
Next, if you seek to report fraud on private insurance companies in California, the California Insurance Fraud Prevention Act or CIFPA will be utilized. This law operates much like the False Claims Acts. Similarly, the whistleblower files a complaint under seal. The complaint is serve don the California Insurance Commissioner and the relevant District Attorney. The government will have an opportunity to investigate and intervene. Eventually, if the case recovers money, the whistleblower will receive up to 40% of the recovery.
Motor Vehicle Fraud
Third, fraud performed by a car manufacturer. If a whistleblower seeks to report fraud on a care manufacturing he/she should utilize the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act or the MVSWA. This whistleblower law operates much like the two laws mentioned above. Similarly, the whistleblower will receive a percentage of the proceeds if the case is successful.
Finally, to report fraud involving any types of securities, you should utilize the SEC Whistleblower Act. This Act is somewhat different in the sense that you do not file a case in Court. A tip is filed with the SEC on a Form TCR. Additionally, if the tip leads to an SEC recover, the whistleblower will receive a discretionary award if the recovery is above $1 million.
How Can I Report Fraud?
There are many different avenues to report fraud. To discover the right avenue for you, you should contact a whistleblower attorney to walk you thorough an analysis and the process.
First and foremost, you can report fraud internally through a compliance hotline or by reporting the fraud to your superior.
Second, you can report fraud directly to the government via a website or phone call. This can be done anonymously.
Third, you can report fraud by utilizing one of the whistleblower laws referenced above.
Should I file A Whistleblower Case to Report Fraud?
There are pros and cons to filing a whistleblower case. Similarly, there are pros and cons of not filing a whistleblower case. The stakes are high and actions should not be taken lightly.
Some of the pros to reporting fraud through one of the whitleblower laws:
- potential for large reward or bounty
- free and confidential legal services by an experienced lawyer
- reputation in the field as “moral” or “ethical”
- feeling that you are “doing the right thing”
Some of the cons to reporting fraud through one of the whistleblower laws:
- potential for the company to file counterclaims for taking documents
- allegations that you breached a confidentially agreement
- reputation as a “snitch”
- termination or retaliation at your current employer
- difficulty getting a job in the industry after filing a case
- stress of being in litigation
We understand this is daunting and what will happen is unknown. We also understand that you need to do what is right for you and your family. Moreover, we are morally and ethically bound to act in your best interest.
If you are seeking to report fraud, this is probably one of the scariest times of your life. You should hire an experienced, hard-working lawyer that you trust. One that specializes in whistleblower laws to help you work through the decision points and do what is in your best interest.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer:
- Call: (484) 416-2636
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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