Fraud costs the government and taxpayers billions every year. If you have original information involving fraud against the government, do you have the courage it takes to bring the perpetrators to justice? Is blowing the whistle the right thing to do for you and your family? Will you be fired from your job if you file a whistleblower lawsuit against your employer? Do whistleblowers have any legal protection? What will it cost?
Mark H. Schlein, our lead whistleblower attorney, has answered these questions for hundreds of people just like you and helped them make the critical decision to blow the whistle. While a government attorney, Mark participated in whistleblower litigation resulting in the recovery of billions of dollars at the state and federal level. Mark has extensive experience litigating whistleblower lawsuits and working with whistleblowers. If you do decide to become a whistleblower and retain Baum Hedlund as your legal representation, Mark Schlein will make the journey with you and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Mark has prepared the following guide on how to be a whistleblower, covering some frequently asked questions:
How to Be a Whistleblower FAQs
What is the False Claims Act?
- The False Claims Act (FCA) 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 FCA and related statutes also provide protection to legitimate whistleblowers that face retaliation from their employer because they reported fraud or improper conduct.
What should I be doing to prepare my whistleblower lawsuit?
- Do not discuss this information with anyone, as 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? Who has custody of them? It is important to remember that you should not do anything illegal to obtain these documents, as this 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? How did you communicate your concerns? 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?
What will it cost me?
- Filing a whistleblower lawsuit with Baum Hedlund as your legal representation will not cost you anything.
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. Blowing the whistle on fraud will help put a stop to such conduct, protect the health and safety of the public and prevent this type of behavior from happening again.
Will I be doing this alone?
- No, you will not be alone. Filing a whistleblower lawsuit can be 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
When learning more about how to be a whistleblower, and deciding if coming forward with information is right for you, it is important to know the law is on your side. Three major whistleblower laws reward citizens for coming forward with information concerning fraud against the government. Follow the links below for an explanation of how each of these laws applies to whistleblowers.