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Whistleblower and Fraud Facts: Are There Windfalls?

Despite claims by offending companies, whistleblowers aren’t getting rich by reporting their employers. If anything, they suffer steep consequences and often wait years before receiving compensation. Here are the facts about whistleblowers and these cases.

No consideration for inflation

There is little growth in the average whistleblower payment. According to available data, from 1987 through 2005, the median share for whistleblowers was $123,855. By 2009, this number increased merely to $144,000. There is no account for inflation or cost of living increases.

Furthermore, those are the recovery numbers before removing attorney fees and taxes. (However, reports on False Claims Act claims are partially tax-deductible.) Once attorney fees and taxes are deducted, the whistleblower receives an average of $56,000. That amount is just below the median salary of a U.S. employee in 2009.

Meanwhile, corporate executive pay continues to rise, even when they continue to do wrong. There are no “exorbitant bounties” happening in the whistleblower world!

The time factor

Whistleblower awards are not immediate, either. The average qui tam claim takes years to resolve. According to data from 1987 through 2005, the average qui tam claim took three years to conclude, with some cases taking as long as 15.5 years.

While waiting for their claims to resolve, whistleblowers often face financial strain and difficulty finding new work. If anything, reporting the misdeeds of their employers can compromise a whistleblower’s survival. Very few people can go years without a steady income.

An act of conscience shouldn’t ruin you, but that is the unfortunate reality for many whistleblowers. Talk to a whistleblower attorney first if you find your employer engages in illegal, fraudulent, or reckless behavior. A skilled whistleblower lawyer at the Kardell Law Group can help you determine the best way forward. Call our office to schedule a consultation.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.