If you keep up with the news, you’ve probably heard about some of the more recent scandals that have come to light because of the work of whistleblowers, such as the Volkswagen emissions cheating situation, and the record settlement in the Adventist Medicare fraud. Perhaps you’ve also read about the whistleblower’s portion of an IRS settlement being in the multiple millions.
Many potential whistleblowers decide to just keep mum about the fraud they have observed, some because they are apprehensive about the process and others because they think they’re just the “little guy” and don’t have a chance of beating “the system.” Filing any complaint in court is a little nerve-wracking for most people, so at the Louthian Law Firm we do our best to put our clients at ease by clearly explaining the process, answering questions, and standing firm in our resolve to protect their legal rights and help them right a wrong.
To Report or Not to Report
A whistleblower is a person who has evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing and then reports it. The reporting can be internal (inside the company) only, to both the company and the government, or to the government alone.
A National Business Ethics Survey in 2011 reported these statistics about wrongdoing and whistleblowing:
- Wrongdoing was seen by 45 percent of U.S. employees.
- Around two-thirds (65 percent) of those who saw wrongdoing reported it.
- Of those who saw wrongdoing but chose not to report it, 46 percent cited fear of retaliation.
All of the following actions by an employer against a whistleblowing employee are prohibited, and you are entitled to legal relief if you experience them:
- Being left out of meetings or team projects
- Demotion or threatened demotion
- Denial of a promotion or overtime
- Denial of benefits
- Discipline without cause
- Issuance of a new company policy that conflicts with whistleblower protections
- Being fired, laid off, or suspended
- Reassignment to a lesser position
- Reduction of pay or hours
- Blacklisting (inability to secure future employment in your field)
- Threats and intimidation
- Harm to property or persons.
Whistleblowers are protected against these actions by an employer because our country’s lawmakers have recognized the importance of encouraging those who see fraud to report it.
Can I Remain Anonymous?
About 80 percent of whistleblower cases are not pursued by the Justice Department. Because of this, people want anonymity should the case not go anywhere. In many instances, a whistleblower’s identity is protected. Under the False Claims Act, such as with a Medicare fraud case, it is likely that your identity can be protected, although it may eventually be revealed. If you file a claim under the IRS or SEC programs, there is an even better chance that you will remain anonymous because these claims are considered administrative actions and not cases, with different rules than those governing court cases.
Lean on Us
Just like other litigation, a whistleblower action can be stressful. Doing the right thing can weigh heavily on a person — but then, so can turning a blind eye.
We at the Louthian Law Firm understand the pressures our clients are under, whether we’re helping them pursue justice after fraudulent activity or after a car accident. We’re dedicated to providing advocacy that is compassionate and confidential, as well as highly competent.
You Want to Do What’s Right
People are often told to consider carefully the consequences of becoming a whistleblower. And yet, despite their fears, a number of people do go on to become whistleblowers. It can be financially rewarding, although few go down the path for that reason. Whistleblowing is not easy money. It is a complicated process that requires commitment and dedication. If you are considering being a whistleblower, think it through. When you are ready to pursue justice, we hope you’ll contact the Louthian Law Firm.
When life goes wrong, we fight for what’s right.
If you have insider knowledge about governmental fraud, you could be entitled to a significant cash reward in a whistleblower suit. Whether it is Medicare fraud, tax fraud, defense contractor fraud, mortgage fraud, or some other kind of fraud, an experienced whistleblower attorney like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement with the government if you have a valid case. In some instances, the government will “intervene” or take part in your lawsuit. A qualified attorney can help you structure your claims in such a way that the government will be persuaded to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the likelihood that you will recover reward money. However, even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement.
For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at (803) 454-1200 or fill out the online consultation form. Louthian Law Firm. 80 years of experience—on your side.