Whistleblowers are one of the most effective tools against corporate or government fraud and misconduct. There are many programs available, which not only provide protection against retaliation, but may also provide rewards for speaking up. Here are some of the programs currently available.
The Department of Justice uses the FCA to prosecute claims of fraud against the government. The statute was originally intended to handle procurement or defense-related fraud, but it has expanded to healthcare fraud, financial and mortgage-related fraud. Essentially, the False Claims Act can be used to pursue any case in which the federal government has been defrauded.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has the broad authority to pursue corporate fraud schemes. Because most corporate misconduct by SEC-governed companies concerns income or revenue, it directly relates to potential securities law violations.
The IRS has its own whistleblower program, thanks to the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. The program established a dedicated office within the IRS to work with whistleblowers, and potentially share part of the government recovery as an award. Whistleblowers file tips directly with the IRS, rather than in court.
FIRREA enforcement can pursue civil penalties when an institution or individual violates certain criminal statutes, particularly mail and wire fraud when it affects a federally-insured financial institution. FIRREA has been used to combat financial fraud, like residential mortgage-back securities fraud. However, FIRREA can be used in any fraud that involves federally-insured financial institutions in any way. These tips are filed by serving the DOJ with a sworn statement with evidence and facts related to the fraud.
Finally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a whistleblower program to deal with fraud related to an “employee or contractor of a motor vehicle manufacturer, part supplier, or dealership.”
For more information about whistleblowing protections and awards, an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group can assist you. Reach out today to get started.