Our whistleblower clients come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they see something wrong and want to make it right. Like our clients, we believe wrongdoers should be held accountable when they commit fraud, cut corners, inflate bills, underpay taxes, or put innocent people in harm’s way.
We know that coming forward as a whistleblower isn’t easy. It’s complicated, it can be stressful, and it can take time. We have the skills, experience, and determination to stand by you, protect your rights, and help you get the best result.
We will listen to your story. We will support you and prepare you for what to expect. And we will help you put your best foot forward through every possible step of the process, including case development, government investigations, legal filings, litigation, or settlement.
Learn More About Whistleblower Programs
There are a variety of paths for potential whistleblowers to consider when deciding whether to come forward. They include:
- The Federal False Claims Act, for cases reporting wrongdoing related to federal government funds.
- State False Claims Acts, for cases reporting wrongdoing related to state government funds (and sometimes state taxes). We have attorneys admitted to practice in a number of states with their own state-law False Claims Acts:
- California False Claims Act
- Connecticut False Claims Act
- Illinois False Claims Act
- Massachusetts False Claims Act
- New Jersey False Claims Act
- New York False Claims Act
- Pennsylvania False Claims Act
- Washington D.C. False Claims Act
- We also partner with other law firms to file cases in other states with whistleblower laws.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Reward Program, for cases reporting violations of federal securities laws.
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Whistleblower Reward Program, for cases reporting violations of the Commodity Exchange Act.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Reward Program, for cases reporting violations of federal tax laws.
- The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) whistleblower process, for cases reporting fraud involving federally insured financial institutions.
- The Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower program, for cases reporting violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
- The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program, for cases reporting information that can lead to the restraint, seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of assets in the United States or in the possession of a US person linked to foreign government corruption.
- Environmental whistleblower programs for cases reporting violations like unlawful ocean dumping, trafficking in illegal or endangered plants or animals, or threats to public health.
How do I start?
Call us at (212) 337-5361. Submit an inquiry on our website. Or email us at email@example.com. We want to hear your story.
While whistleblowers can be stereotypical “insiders,” like employees or former employees at companies or organizations that have engaged in improper conduct, there is no requirement that they be insiders. We have worked with a variety of non-traditional whistleblowers who have witnessed fraud or taken the initiative to investigate corporate misconduct. Whistleblowers from all backgrounds can offer important insights worthy of submission to the government or, depending on the program, even a lawsuit.
Whistleblowers also may not know everything about the fraud when they come to us. In other words, they may know (or suspect) something is wrong. They may have raised concerns about practices internally that have gone ignored (or worse, punished). Even if a whistleblower isn’t sure “what they have” or what to do, we have experience helping clients put the pieces together.
It depends on the subject matter and the whistleblower program. To bring a case under the False Claims Act, there needs to be a claim or demand for government money. Not every lie to the government violates the FCA.
For the SEC Whistleblower Program, there needs to be wrongdoing that violates a federal securities law or regulation like a material misstatement in a public filing. Not every bad management decision at a publicly traded company can be investigated by the SEC.
What counts and what doesn’t can be complicated. For more information, take a look at some of the pages on our website describing different whistleblower programs. And most importantly, talk with us.
It depends on the whistleblower program. Whistleblowers submitting information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) whistleblower programs can choose to remain completely anonymous (even to the government) if they work with an attorney.
Under most other programs, the government will know your identity. When (and if) your name is revealed publicly depends on the stage and outcome of the case. Under the IRS Whistleblower Program, a whistleblower’s name is never publicly revealed unless they choose to reveal it later as part of a lawsuit. Under the False Claims Act, the whistleblower’s case is filed confidentially and “under seal” while the government investigates. The defendants, your coworkers, and others cannot get that information while the case is under seal. Eventually, once the government has had an opportunity to investigate the allegations and decide how to proceed, the case is “unsealed.”
We sometimes work with clients with unique concerns that require extra confidentiality and protection of their identity and we do our best to preserve anonymity in these situations.
Even though the law says that whistleblowers remain confidential and defendants may not retaliate against them, sometimes wrongdoers mistreat whistleblowers for raising their concerns, working with a lawyer, or contacting the government.
With some variations between different whistleblower programs, those who face retaliation like firing, suspension, demotion, discipline, threats, harassment, or other discrimination can sue to hold wrongdoers accountable for trying to punish them for doing the right thing. A successful retaliation claim can lead to a variety of remedies, including reinstatement, back pay (sometimes double), special damages like emotional distress, and attorney’s fees.
Whistleblowers receive a percentage of whatever the government recovers. The particular percentages depend on the program and on the government’s view of how valuable the whistleblower’s information was.
Working with a whistleblower attorney who has done this before can help to maximize the award. We help whistleblowers develop their case, present it in the best way, and prepare them for any confidential government interviews to maximize their value to the government’s investigation.
Most whistleblower cases are handled by attorneys on a contingency basis. In other words, we get a percentage of the whistleblower award if there is one. We only get paid if you do.
Occasionally, clients prefer to pay us in exchange for receiving a smaller percentage of the whistleblower award. We are open to considering a variety of arrangements depending on the client’s preferences and needs.
We have handled and are actively engaged in matters in a variety of whistleblower programs and industries. Our whistleblower clients are all over the United States and the world.
Most recently, after partial intervention by the Department of Justice, a lawsuit initiated by a whistleblower resulted in Red Ventures, LLC and MYMOVE, LLC agreeing to pay the United States $2.75 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act. Acting on the whistleblower’s complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina alleged that MYMOVE defrauded the U.S. Postal Service by failing to pay the government millions of dollars owed under contracts connected to the USPS change of address process. The claims here were brought to the government’s attention under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by our client, a former MYMOVE employee. We obtained a 20% share of the settlement for our client. It is estimated that the Department of Justice only intervenes in about 1 in 5 (20%) of all qui tam cases.
Our clients include:
- A pharmacist who knew his bosses were improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid for drugs not actually prescribed.
- A nurse who knew her employer was improperly billing Medicaid for unnecessary levels of care, lying in accreditation and licensing applications, and covering up adverse events.
- A doctor who knew his employer was “upcoding” claims to government healthcare programs.
- A nurse practitioner who knew her employer was “unbundling” telemedicine visits (improperly charging for related follow-up appointments) and “upcoding” in-office visits to bill for higher rates not justified by medical records.
- Business executives who knew their bosses lied to get Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, used the loans for improper purposes, and claimed compliance to get the loans forgiven.
- An office administrator who knew that her organization was engaged in fraudulent bids to obtain work under government contracts that should have gone to minority or woman-owned businesses.
- After partial intervention by the United States Attorney’s Office, obtained a $2.75 million settlement based on our client’s information that the defendants improperly and secretly deducted costs from revenue they were contractually obligated to share with the United States Postal Service. We obtained a 20% share of the settlement for our client. It is estimated that the Department of Justice only intervenes in about 1 in 5 (20%) of all qui tam cases.
Pollock Cohen Prevails as Second Circuit Revives False Claims Act Suit
Current Investigations & Areas of Interest
Prior Authorization Investigation
Qui tam and Whistleblower Laws
We have investigated, researched, and filed qui tam cases arising under a broad swath of qui tam and whistleblower statutes. Contact us to talk about cases arising under the following laws:
- Federal fraud: Federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq.
- NY state fraud: New York False Claims Act, State Finance Law §§ 187 et seq.
- Securities fraud: SEC whistleblower program, Dodd-Frank Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6
- Tax fraud: IRS whistleblower program, 26 U.S.C. § 7623(b)
- Commodities trading fraud: CFTC whistleblower program, Dodd-Frank Act, 7 U.S.C. § 26
- Bank fraud: FIRREA, 12 U.S.C. §§ 4201 et seq.
- Car and truck safety and fraud: Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, 49 U.S.C. § 30172
- NJ state fraud: New Jersey False Claims Act, N.J. Rev. Stat. §§ 2A:32C-1 et seq.
Whistleblower Protection and Anti-Retaliation
Strict laws are in place to protect whistleblower confidentiality and protect whistleblowers from workplace retaliation. We have also investigated, researched, and filed anti-retaliation cases arising under a wide range of laws. Contact us to talk about retaliation cases arising under the following laws:
- Federal fraud: 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)
- Publicly-traded companies: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1514A
- Securities fraud reported to the SEC: Dodd-Frank, Dodd-Frank Act § 922(h)
- Fraud under the “Obama Stimulus” of 2009: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5 § 1553
- Commercial vehicle safety: Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), 49 U.S.C. § 31105
New York State and City
- City employees: Local Law 33-12 (codified at NYC Administrative Code § 12-113)
- State employees: Civil Service Law § 75-b(3)(c)
- State fraud: False Claims Act, State Finance Law § 191
- Health and safety: Labor Law § 740
- Quality of patient care: Labor Law § 741
- Non-profits: Not-For-Profit Corporation Law § 715-b