Whistleblower Lawyers

The U.S. Government offers financial rewards to whistleblowers reporting violations of the False Claims Act, the tax code, securities laws and numerous other laws. As a result, the U.S. Government receives tips about health care fraud, mortgage fraud, tax evasion, and other violations of federal law regularly.

“In 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ordered whistleblower awards of nearly $50 million.”

The U.S. also offers whistleblower protections against retaliation to certain employees through anti-retaliation lawsuits. Certain states have also adopted laws to protect individuals blowing the whistle on misconduct from retaliation. As a result of the numerous and complex laws in this field, a whistleblower attorney can be crucial to avoid missed deadlines and other obstacles to an award and monetary compensation.

Eric L. Young

Eric L. Young has successfully combated corporate misconduct for most of his legal career. He has represented individuals at every level of the workforce, from corporate executives to blue collar workers from around the globe. His track record of success has made him one of the nation’s leading whistleblower attorneys. As such, he manages McEldrew Young’s whistleblower practice and represents individuals who seek experienced counsel when considering reporting fraud and misconduct.

U.S. Whistleblower Laws

The whistleblower laws in the United States are some of the most advanced in the world. Although there is no comprehensive legislation protecting whistleblowers, the U.S. Government offers financial rewards to individuals for reporting violations of several laws. It also offers protection to certain employees that come forward by authorizing anti-retaliation lawsuits. Thousands of individuals come forward every year to report corporate misconduct to the Federal Government as a result. Certain states also offer individuals additional protections and rewards in addition to those offered on a national level. There are a number of laws that are relevant to whistleblowers, and we have written extensively about many of them here on our website, including the False Claims ActInternal Revenue Service, Mortgage Fraud/FIRREA, Motor Vehicle Safety, SEC, and CFTC.

“No matter what we do to deter waste and fraud, whistleblowers are the key to the government finding out about it when it happens.”

– Senator Chuck Grassley

July 29, 2014

False Claims Act

Are you looking to report fraud against the government? The Federal False Claims Act authorizes individuals to bring a cause of action on behalf of the government to recover money lost due to fraud or other misconduct, involving Medicare, Medicaid, Government Contracts, or Mortgages.

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IRS Whistleblower

The IRS Whistleblower Program provides monetary incentives for persons who voluntarily provide the specific credible information about possible violations of the Internal Revenue Code that result in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest, or other amounts from a noncompliant taxpayer.

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SEC Whistleblower

McEldrew Young represents SEC whistleblowers reporting evidence of FCPA violations, accounting fraud, offering fraud, trading fraud and other violations of the federal securities laws.

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CTFC Whistleblower

McEldrew Young represents employees, ex-employees and third-parties reporting commodities fraud to the CFTC.

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FIRREA

 

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), is a United States federal law enacted in the wake of the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. It authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil lawsuit for fraud involving a federally insured financial institution.

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Auto Whistleblower

McEldrew Young represents auto whistleblowers reporting unsafe vehicles and delayed recall reporting.

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Whistleblower FAQs

Can a whistleblower with unclean hands get a reward?

If you have participated in the conduct that you wish to report to the U.S. Government, or otherwise have unclean hands, your decision to become a whistleblower can expose you personally to criminal or civil liability. Whether you are were central to implementation or simply a low level participant, you will need to consult with an attorney about the potential implications of your involvement and carefully approach the government to determine whether they are interested in prosecuting a person in your role.

Can a company be a whistleblower?

Yes, the False Claims Act allows it. The IRS, SEC, and CFTC programs do not allow companies to receive rewards. The Federal False Claims Act allows both individuals and entities to serve as relator and bring a civil action. It permits “a person” to bring a civil action under the statute. The False Claims Act does not define the term person explicitly.

Why would a company act as a whistleblower?

In some instances, an individual or group of individuals will create an entity in order to protect their privacy and file the qui tam lawsuit under that name. This is not prohibited by the False Claims Act, but there are instances when it is frowned upon. There are other occasions when it makes more sense for a corporation to file instead of an individual. Competitors, customers and consultants can also discover fraud. In many of these cases, it makes more sense to have the company act as the relator. We would be happy to discuss specifics with you if you contact us.

Can accountants be whistleblowers?

Yes, accountants can receive an award as a whistleblower under the IRS program. Accounting fraud has been at the center of some of the nation’s largest financial and business controversies. They do not have any special internal reporting requirements.  However, there are two restrictions on their ability to submit information and earn a reward. A whistleblower cannot submit information about a taxpayer and be the taxpayer’s representative in a pending administrative matter or in litigation where the IRS has an interest.

I’ve already been helping the government. Can I still get a reward as a whistleblower?

In many cases, a whistleblower is still able to qualify for a reward even if they have already been helping the government. However, there are several reasons why you might no longer qualify. We would be happy to discuss your specific situation if you contact us.

Can a whistleblower threaten to report their employer?

Without a lawyer, threats to report a company for a violation of the False Claims Act are problematic. When a dispute arises and legal counsel is not engaged, there is the possibility that the threat may be extortion. Individuals should therefore be extremely careful when making settlement demands to their employer, or more likely for whistleblowers, their ex-employer.

What is extortion?

Extortion happens when a person obtains money or property by wrongful force or threat. It generally includes instances where you threaten to accuse another of a crime. There is a lot of grey area regarding what constitutes extortion though, as state statutes may define the crime differently. This makes it very dangerous to threat to go to the authorities, the public, or the media with information about a violation of the law.

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