Texas-Based Whistleblower Attorneys Protecting Your Rights
Dependable counsel for qui tam False Claims Act cases Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and beyond
Corporations don’t always do the right thing. Sometimes, it takes someone with inside knowledge of the wrongdoing to help make things right. Under the False Claims Act, any private citizen can sue any person or entity that is defrauding the government. In some of these cases, even recognizing the connection of a claim to the government is complicated, which is one reason having an attorney who specializes in whistleblower (or qui tam) lawsuits is beneficial.
Whistleblowers are also afforded protections under the law, including protection from retaliation. In a whistleblower case, you are reporting a known fraud or unethical act, whether or not it has caused you harm personally. Whistleblowing – reporting on this fraud – is one of the best ways to combat corruption. Whistleblowers assist in moving society toward fairer treatment for workers, consumers, medical patients, and other groups who have been victimized by unfair policies, illegal acts, and other wrongdoings in the past.
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What is the False Claims Act?
Considered the country’s first and most effective antifraud law, the False Claims Act (FCA) was signed in 1863 and then revised in 1986 to strengthen its provisions. This piece of legislation was first enacted after the Civil War, when it was found that suppliers provided substandard equipment and services to troops. Under the law, any individual or non-governmental organization can be eligible for a financial award for filing a lawsuit regarding false claims or fraud on behalf of the U.S. government.
Once you, as the whistleblower, file a claim, the U.S. government can join in. The qui tam, or whistleblower, provision in the FCA states that in the case of a successful prosecution, whistleblowers can be awarded anywhere between 15 and 25 percent of the total collected proceeds (or up to 30 percent if the U.S. government declines to intervene and the case is still successful). In some cases, this award amount can be quite significant. The Department of Justice reports that, in 2020, they obtained more than $2.2 billion in settlements and judgements involving fraud and false claims.
Can anyone file a whistleblower case?
The law and its requirements are quite complex, particularly now that a growing number of states have enacted similar statutes to the FCA allowing whistleblowers to be awarded a “finder’s fee” for reporting fraud. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to serve as a whistleblower, and provisions also apply to conduct which occurs outside of the country, as long as there is federal contracting, procurement or spending involved.
The FCA protects against a variety of types of offenses, including:
- Overcharging the government
- Submitting false information on a government loan application
- Seeking payment for goods and services outside of contractual or regulatory requirements
- Seeking payment for defective goods or services that were lesser quality than agreed upon in a contract
- Attempting to pay less to the government than the contractually agreed-upon amount
- Fraudulently seeking out a government contract
- Submitting a false claim to argue that the defendant complied with an existing contract, regulation, or law
Whistleblowers have actually become a primary source of information about fraud cases for the government and play a vital role in preventing government fraud. The attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger can provide you with the guidance and protection you need when you have this type of sensitive information.
Slack Davis Sanger partners with law firms throughout the country in complex litigation matters. If you are in need of a local partner or wish to refer a case to us, we invite you to learn more about our services.
What are some examples of whistleblower cases?
There are many different types of whistleblower cases, but the main kinds of fraud these cases expose include:
Healthcare fraud, including fraud on the part of hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, and other parties. The number of serious injury examples stemming from these types of cases is quite large, since the impacts can often be catastrophic on victims and their families.
Tax fraud, which can include companies, corporations, or individuals engaged in illegal acts like tax evasion, false reporting of income, and more.
Securities fraud, also known as investment fraud, which involves inducing investors to buy or sell stock on false pretenses.
Defense contractor fraud, when defense companies overbid on projects, falsify invoices, sell faulty equipment that results in injuries, or provide illegal kickbacks in order to maximize profits.
There are other types of whistleblower cases involving publicly and privately held businesses in which employees discover and expose financial mismanagement, discrimination, health and safety code violations, or other violations on the part of their employers. If you think you have a case involving fraud on the part of a company or other entity, our experienced lawyers are available to evaluate your case.
Can my workplace retaliate against me for exposing fraud?
Whistleblowing in the workplace is an act of bravery – people who expose highly sensitive organizational secrets can be the target of retribution from their employers. The Federal False Claims Act has a strong “anti-retaliation” provision that provides relief to individuals who suffer an adverse employment action as a result of whistleblowing. Other laws protecting whistleblowers include the Whistleblower Protection Act, the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program, the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provisions for SEC whistleblowers, and other state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination against whistleblowers.
Despite the many laws in place enacted to protect whistleblowers from retaliatory consequences, anyone who exposes fraud or other wrongdoing runs the risk of whistleblower retaliation. If you have called out wrongdoing or misconduct and have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation as a result, you do have rights. Whether you are considering blowing the whistle or you have already done so and then suffered retaliation, such as being fired, demoted, or harassed, your next step should be to contact Slack Davis Sanger in securing justice.
Can a whistleblower remain anonymous?
The experienced whistleblower attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger prioritize protecting the identity of their whistleblower clients, particularly when that concern is important to the client. In fact, some laws require that whistleblower claims be filed confidentially under seal for a period of time. However, with the myriad laws governing whistleblower claims as well as the specific facts and circumstances of a given whistleblower claim, only an experienced attorney can advise you properly on the confidentiality of your claim.
How can a Texas-based whistleblower attorney help my case?
Led by Partner John R. Davis, the Texas-based whistleblower attorneys of Slack Davis Sanger are authorities in all types of anti-corruption claims, and we have vast experience representing clients against corporations or federal agencies that have engaged in misconduct. You can feel like David going up against Goliath in a whistleblower case, since it seemingly pits an individual against a large and wealthy corporation or other entity with extensive financial and legal resources at its disposal. Fortunately, once you have legal representation, you aren’t alone, and the quality of the lawyering, the law, and the courts can even the playing field.
This is yet another reason why it is of utmost importance to hire the best legal representation available, such as the qualified legal team here at Slack Davis Sanger. We will utilize our deep knowledge of the law, including legal precedents established in prior whistleblowing cases, to fight tirelessly for your rights and secure the damages you deserve.
Honest and experienced Texas whistleblower lawyers
The experienced lawyers at Slack Davis Sanger have a thorough understanding of how to apply the False Claims Act, state whistleblower laws, and the extensive set of federal laws with whistleblower protections to help you expose fraudulent activity and potentially obtain compensation for your efforts. We are based in Texas but represent claimants throughout the country. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Austin, Dallas, or Fort Worth, please call 800-455-8686 or fill out our contact form.