If you are a whistleblower with information about fraud on the government, then you may be able to bring what is known as a “qui tam” lawsuit under the False Claims Act. A qui tam lawsuit is brought by a private citizen, but in the name of the government. Any company or individual who makes a false statement for the purpose of obtaining government funds may be liable under the False Claims Act. Qui tam lawsuits have been used to expose fraud on the Medicare and Medicaid systems by health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment suppliers. These lawsuits have also been brought by qui tam whistleblowers exposing fraud in other industries that rely on government dollars, such as defense contractors, for-profit educational companies, and companies and institutions that receive government grants or funding. As a qui tam whistleblower, you could receive between 15% and 30% of the amount recovered as a result of your qui tam lawsuit. Qui tam lawsuits are brought under a unique set of procedures, which you must follow in order to preserve your right to the reward.
If you are a whistleblower with information about violations of federal securities laws, then you may qualify for an award from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). The awards range between 10% and 30% of money collected by the SEC. The SEC is interested in information concerning insider trading, fraud by publicly traded companies, fraud by brokers and investment advisors, ponzi schemes, and other fraudulent schemes affecting investors and the securities markets. In addition, the SEC has enforcement authority under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the FCPA), which prohibits publicly-traded companies from bribing foreign officials, and whistleblowers with information concerning FCPA violations are also eligible for awards. The SEC Whistleblower Office, located in Washington, D.C., has its own set of rules and procedures that must be followed to be eligible for these awards. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has a similar regulatory regime, under which a whistleblower may receive an award for reporting fraud relating to the commodities markets.
If you are a whistleblower with information about high-dollar tax fraud by a company or individual, or about the promotion of unlawful tax shelters, then you may qualify for an award from the IRS. If you provide information to the IRS showing tax fraud or underpayment of taxes of at least $2 million, then you may qualify for a reward of between 15% and 30% of the total recovered by the government. In order to qualify for that reward, however, you need to follow procedures and rules implemented and enforced by the IRS Whistleblower Office, located in Washington, D.C.
If you are a whistleblower with information about fraud in the banking industry, then you may qualify for an award from the U.S. Department of Justice (the DOJ) under the Financial Institutions Anti-Fraud Enforcement Act. That statute provides whistleblower rewards of up to 30% of the amounts recovered by the DOJ. The statute covers both fraud on banks, and also fraud by banks. To qualify for an award under the statute, you must follow a very unique set of special procedures for how the fraud is reported to DOJ, and subsequently pursued.