Whistleblower Rewards: A Reason For Taking A Risk
MIAMI, FL, April 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When one person has the courage to stand up against illegal, corrupt or fraudulent business practices in an effort to stop the wrongdoer and to stop the waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars, that person's risks should not be without reward. Yes, there are risks to blowing the whistle, but there are also protections and incentives built into the process as well.

A whistleblower is someone with knowledge and evidence of fraud. Anyone can be a whistleblower if they know of fraudulent or illegal business practices.

Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower can file a whistleblower lawsuit or qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government to stop corrupt practices. Damages in a whistleblower suit filed under the False Claims Act may be tripled, according to federal law. In addition, a penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim may be added to the final judgment against a person or business who submits a false or fraudulent claim to the U.S. government.

If a settlement or judgment is reached in the case, the whistleblower will be entitled to a percentage of the recovery as his or her reward for coming forward, having the courage to blow the whistle and working to stop the waste of taxpayer dollars. A whistleblower's award will depend on the actual amount paid by the offending company, whether the government intervened in the suit and the subject matter of the lawsuit (such as IRS tax fraud, Medicare fraud or SEC fraud, among others).

Examples Of Whistleblower Awards

Dubbed "The Year of The Whistleblower," 2012 saw the resolution of several whistleblower lawsuits. Approximately $439 million dollars in whistleblower awards were paid out to individuals who took the time and had the courage to stop fraud and the waste of billions of U.S. tax dollars.

An IRS whistleblower received a record-breaking $104 million dollar reward for his assistance in stopping U.S. income tax evasion by American citizens banking with UBS. The Swiss bank paid close to $800 million dollars to avoid criminal prosecution in the United States and turned over the identities of 4500 American citizens who were allegedly using foreign accounts to evade U.S. taxes. The whistleblower lawsuit may have also played a role in encouraging close to 14,000 individuals throughout the United States to participate in a tax amnesty program that has collected over $5 billion in tax revenue on assets that were previously undeclared and taxes unpaid.

Several individuals were involved in stopping fraud and illegal business practices at GlaxoSmithKline. The drug maker paid close to $1.5 billion to settle claims of off-label marketing fraud, misrepresentation of the safety of its products and Medicaid underpayments. A whistleblower award of $131 million was split among the several individuals involved in stopping the big pharma fraud.

Six whistleblowers who contributed to the massive mortgage fraud settlement with several large lenders, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Ally Financial and J.P Morgan Chase, shared a $46.5 million whistleblower award for their efforts.

Securing And Preserving Your Right To A Whistleblower Reward

Without doubt, there are substantial financial reasons to bring a whistleblower lawsuit. Not only can individuals protect U.S. taxpayers as a whole from fraudulent business practices and the waste of taxpayer dollars, whistleblowers can potentially reap large personal financial rewards as well.

But, there are pitfalls and traps that can catch an individual who is unfamiliar with whistleblower laws and protections. To be eligible for an award, a whistleblower must be the first to present original evidence of fraud. An experienced whistleblower lawyer should be one of the first people you speak with if you have information or evidence of fraud or wrongdoing.

Litigation Partners, P.L. and The Whistleblower Law Firm is a team of whistleblower attorneys working together to protect the rights of consumers and whistleblowers throughout the United States. From offices in Miami, Florida, our team of experienced trial attorneys represents individuals who have been harmed by defective or dangerous products or who are willing to take a stand against fraud and waste committed at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

Additional Resources:
Whistleblower Blog: http://www.federalwhistleblowerlawyers.com/blog/
How to Report Business Fraud: http://www.federalwhistleblowerlawyers.com/Types-of-Employer-Fraud-Wrongdoing/
How to Report Fraud: http://www.federalwhistleblowerlawyers.com/State-Federal-Whistleblower-Laws/

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