How Much Compensation Can I Make From Being A Whistleblower?

Potentially, a lot. The value of your whistleblower case really depends upon the size of the fraud you report.

Factors To Consider

If you are reporting fraud ask yourself: how much government money was involved? The federal False Claims Act imposes treble (3 times) damages on a defendant if the case goes all the way to trial and the defendant is held liable, so this creates an incentive on the part of the defendant to settle a strong case. What you, the whistleblower, can get is 15-30% of any government recovery including the damages and civil fines.

Civil fines are tricky. They can be as much as $11,000 per violation, but what is a violation? Is it the fraud to induce the main contract? Is it each individual bill? That’s an area that gets determined down the road as well.

Your reward is dependent upon what the government collects under a Federal False Claims Act case. When you begin your case you may not even know the full extent of the fraud involved, but government contracting is big business, so chances are if you know about a large contract and you know about fraud, you probably have a pretty big case regardless. You can also sue for retaliation under the False Claims Act if you suffered as a result of reporting fraud. If you prevail under that claim you would be entitled to two times back pay, reinstatement damages and special damages, besides your portion of the government’s recovery.

Under state False Claims Acts the percentages may vary a bit from state to state, but the idea is the same as the federal law. You would collect a share of any recovery the state may collect. Once again, to determine the size of any potential collection you would need to start by figuring out the amount of state money which was lost through fraud.

Other Whistleblower Laws: IRS and SEC

There are other whistleblower laws which allow an individual to report specific kinds of fraud and they work a little differently. The IRS allows you to report major tax fraud and hopefully get a share of any recovery the IRS collects. The SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission also have whistleblower offices where you can file a case and earn a share of any fines they impose.

So, the amount you could collect under these laws is unusual for any kind of law. Most of the time the money you might win in a lawsuit is related to the injury an individual personally suffers. Except in cases when someone suffers retaliation and sues for those damages, the reward is related to the injury suffered by the government, or a fine imposed by the government. Since government contracts and even government fines can reflect very large amounts of money, the potential rewards can be very large indeed.

To figure out how much you may be entitled to collect, you are going to have to work with your lawyer to explain just how big a case of fraud you are reporting. For more information on whistleblowers and whistleblower law – click this.