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Can I Be Compensated For Being a Whistleblower?

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Whistleblowers often have a number of questions when they are considering whether to file a whistleblower lawsuit. One of the most common questions people have is whether any financial award is available to whistleblowers. In other words, can whistleblowers get paid?

The simple answer is that, yes, successful whistleblowers are entitled to a financial reward under the False Claims Act. In general, whistleblowers receive a percentage of the government’s ultimate recovery, and depending on the extent of fraud, the compensation for whistleblowing can be substantial. 

Whistleblower Compensation Under the False Claims Act

Under the False Claims Act, defendants found guilty of fraud against the government are liable for treble damages, or three times the amount of actual damages to the government, plus penalties of up to $11,000 per false claim. Successful whistleblowers generally receive between 15 to 30 percent of the amount recovered by the government.

If you file a qui tam case against your employer and suffer negative employment consequences as a result, you may also have a case for unlawful retaliation under the False Claims Act. If successful in the employment retaliation claim, you could receive double the amount of your back pay, as well as compensation for special damages, along with your share of the recovery in the qui tam claim. 

Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

Medicare and Medicaid fraud is rampant across the country. Since these health insurance programs are run by the government, any fraud involving Medicare or Medicaid is covered by the False Claims Act. 

Originally established as billing based on an “honor system” so that physicians treating poor people could receive payment expeditiously, Medicare and Medicaid fraud cases now represent a majority of all qui tam lawsuits and whistleblower compensation. 

Some common types of Medicare and Medicaid fraud include doctors performing “phantom billing” practices for procedures that are unnecessary or not done at all, and upbilling or upcoding practices that allow unscrupulous healthcare entities to receive extra reimbursements by purposely using incorrect medical codes. 

SEC and IRS Government Fraud 

Securities and tax fraud are two other common causes of action in qui tam cases providing whistleblower compensation. For example, if you uncover IRS fraud, you could receive a share of what the IRS collects in the FCA lawsuit. Similarly, by reporting SEC fraud, you could be awarded whistleblower compensation as part of the fines and damages imposed on the defendant.

If you think you have a solid whistleblower case, contact Goldberg Kohn to find out how much you could receive if your qui tam lawsuit is successfully litigated. During your free consultation, we'll discuss legal aspects of qui tam lawsuits, potential benefits and risks of filing a case under the FCA, and how much whistleblower compensation you could potentially receive.

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55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312-863-7222
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