Whistleblowers are essential for maintaining the integrity of our economic system. Their ability to notice, report, and help stop fraud and misconduct in the most important sectors of our economy has a strong history and is of paramount importance in modern affairs.
Whistleblower provisions in American date back as far as the Civil War. It was well known that suppliers of goods for the Union Army often shortchanged the government by selling sick horses, faulty ammunition, stale food, and other unusable or dangerous products. In order to combat this fraud, President Lincoln imposed the first American whistleblower provision which encouraged average citizens to report misconduct in exchange for a reward. The same principle lies behind today’s whistleblower provisions, which cover a much wider array of goods and services.
Today, whistleblowers can report fraud or misconduct under either:
• The False Claims Act
• IRS provisions
• The Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act
These provisions allow average Americans to report the defrauding of the government, tax evasion, and even securities violations in public and privately held companies. It would be impossible for DOJ, the SEC, or any other number of regulatory organizations to police fraud alone. With the help of whistleblowers, companies and individuals who steal from the government and the American people are far more likely to be held accountable. It is our duty as citizens to be vigilant. Whistleblowers help preserve the integrity of the American economy and financial system, they are integral to our safety and future prosperity.
Qui Tam Cases: False Claims Acts
Qui Tam cases allow individuals, sometimes referred to as “whistleblowers,” to bring lawsuits against businesses that are defrauding taxpayers by overcharging the government in connection with government contracts, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. The whistleblower often receives a reward based on the size of the amount recovered by the government.
Qui Tam lawsuits are brought on behalf of the state or federal government, and are usually brought under the federal False Claims Act or an analogous state statute. Steven Berk has experience representing Qui Tam whistleblowers. His work as a federal prosecutor makes him more effective at litigating Qui Tam lawsuits and working with government attorneys.
If you know of fraud against the government, contact us to explore your legal rights.
IRS Whistleblower Program: Tax Cases
The Internal Revenue Service whistleblower program was updated in 2006. One of the changes made was to significantly increase the amount the IRS can pay a whistleblower for actionable information, which now ranges from 15% to 30% of the proceeds recovered by the IRS. As a former federal government prosecutor, Steven Berk brings a unique and valuable perspective to his representation of IRS whistleblowers.
If you know of tax fraud or underpayment of taxes, contact us to explore your legal rights.
Securities Violation Whistleblowers
Dodd-frank resulted in a robust whistleblower program for those who voluntarily disclose original information covering securities fraud or unlawful activity, leading to a sanction exceeding $1 million. The SEC whistleblower reward program allows for awards to range from 10% to 30% of the amount recovered by the SEC resulting from whistleblower-provided information. Steven Berk’s experience as a federal prosecutor and extensive experience litigating numerous securities cases gives him an exceptionally strong platform for representing SEC whistleblowers.
If you have independent knowledge of a securities law violation (including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), contact us to explore your legal rights.