The Importance of Whistleblower Rewards

The following is taken from an interview with Whistleblower attorney Tony Munter as he discusses rewards for whistleblowers and why they are so important. If you believe you have a case, call today and schedule a free consultation.

Whistleblower rewards are very important for several reasons. It’s important for the government to recognize the contribution of whistleblowers in a concrete way and it’s important that everybody understands that blowing a whistle is a difficult and heroic act. So rewarding whistleblowers is an appropriate action.

With that said, the law not only rewards that individual whistleblower, but also changes people’s view of whistleblowers by helping them see that whistleblowers deserve a reward. Some people tend to think of the whistleblower reward as incentivizing whistle blowing. I tend to think of it as making blowing the whistle possible.

Without the rewards, there’s no way for an individual to pursue a major claim against a big fraud company in any kind of professional way. To do it, one needs legal help. You need a whistleblower attorney. You need a whistleblower lawyer.

Absent the possibility of a reward, there is no way for an individual’s attorneys to be able to pursue these cases. So I think the whistleblower reward helps make the whole process of exposing fraud possible.

The studies and the results clearly indicate that the False Claims Act and its whistleblower rewards have been the most successful way of combating fraud that anyone has come up with thus far.

Is the False Claims Act The Only Kind of Case You Can File to Get a Reward As a Whistleblower?

No, it’s not. In addition to the Federal False Claims Act, there are now 29, maybe 30 state False Claims Act with various levels of kinds of claims that one can bring.

There are also two relatively new whistleblower laws that were enacted as a result of the Dodd Frank legislation; one with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the other with the Commodity’s Future Trading Commission.

And those two whistleblower laws don’t work exactly like the Federal False Claims Act, but they do provide rewards if those agencies take the information from the whistleblower and obtain some kind of an act, a judgement or action, as a result.

The whistleblower gets a reward and that’s a good thing.

And then there’s the IRS whistleblower law to report major tax fraud to the IRS. And the IRS provides rewards when they take an action as a result of the whistleblower’s report leads to them collecting money.

Do The Defendants Have To Pay If The Government Decides To Take Over The Whistleblower Case?

They don’t have to pay until they settle or lose a judgement.

While, generally speaking, the government’s decision to intervene in a case indicates a high degree of a chance of success, defendants have the right to defend themselves in court. And if they prevail in court, of course, they don’t have to pay.

If they do not prevail, or if they settle, then they would have to pay. But the government’s decision to intervene in a case doesn’t mean that the defense doesn’t have rights to defend themselves against the allegations.