Corrupt companies are fraudulently stealing many billions of dollars from the government and American taxpayers every year. Do you have the inside information and courage it takes to stop them? Are you wondering if becoming a whistleblower is the right thing to do for you and your family? Will you be fired? Do whistleblowers have any legal protection? What will it cost? Do you have other questions about how to be a whistleblower?
Mark H. Schlein, our lead whistleblower attorney, has answered these questions for hundreds of people just like you and helped them make that critical decision. While a government attorney, Mark participated in whistleblower litigation resulting in the recovery of billions of dollars at the state and federal level. As a result, he has extensive experience working with whistleblowers. If you do decide to become a whistleblower with us, Mark Schlein will make that journey with you and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Mark has prepared the following whistleblower help guide to help answer many of the basic whistleblower questions his clients have asked:
What Every Whistleblower Needs to Know
What is the False Claims Act?
- The False Claims Act is a law that rewards whistleblowers who come forward to report fraud against the government. The whistleblower may receive a large financial reward based on the amount of money the government recovers. The False Claims Act and related statutes also provide protection to legitimate whistleblowers that face retaliation from their employer because they reported fraud or improper conduct by government agencies.
What should I be doing to prepare my case?
- Do not discuss this information with anyone. People you talk to may decide to file the case themselves. Unfortunately, in these cases it’s a “race to the courthouse”, and the person who files the case with the government first usually wins.
- Write down everything you know about the corporate misconduct involved. What laws, regulations or safety procedures were violated? What are the potential financial, health and safety consequences of this misconduct? Be as specific as possible and do not exaggerate.
- You will need to identify all the supervisors and managers in the company who were aware of the misconduct and what, if anything, they did about it. A detailed organizational chart is very helpful.
- Approximately, when did the misconduct start and when did it stop; or is it still going on?
- Was the misconduct discussed at meetings? If so, when and where; who was present and who said what?
- Was the scheme discussed in writing? If so, do you have copies of relevant memoranda; letters; email; voicemail or other documents? If you don’t have them, where are they kept? Are they in paper files or on computers? Who has custody of them? It is important to remember that you should not do anything illegal to obtain these documents. It will hurt the case and could cause you problems.
- Did you try to tell management about your concerns? Who did you tell; when did you tell them; in what form did you communicate; and what was their response?
- You will need to help us quantify, as accurately as possible, the amount of money your company fraudulently obtained from the government.
- Are there present or former company employees who share your concerns and knowledge and who may be willing to cooperate with us?
Do I have to quit my job?
- No. In many cases, it is helpful if you continue working at your company and can collect more evidence. If circumstances compel you to leave, however, you should do so. We can still make a strong case on your behalf.
What happens if I’m fired?
- Unfortunately, whistleblowers are sometimes fired. In addition to the financial rewards available to someone who reports fraud against the government, the law also provides protection to employees who face retaliation from their employer for filing a complaint. That can mean being reinstated to your job; double back pay and reimbursement for all legal expenses.
What will it cost me?
- There will be no cost to you whatsoever.
Is it worth the risk?
- That’s a decision only you can make. Although it is not easy to come forward, you have an opportunity to do the right thing – to say “No” to corporate fraud and wrongdoing, to help put a stop to such conduct and prevent it from happening in the future, as well as protecting the health and safety of the public.
Will I be doing this alone?
- No, you will not be alone. This is a long journey, but we’ll be there to help and guide you through the entire process. You will be able to contact Mark at any time, and he will be there to protect your rights and support you every step of the way. When Mark represents whistleblowers, they are both a client and a friend.
Three Major Whistleblower Laws
There are three major whistleblower laws that reward citizens for coming forward with information they may have about activities that are defrauding the government. Follow the links below for an explanation of how each of these laws applies to whistleblowers.