Why Potential Whistleblowers Should Speak with A Lawyer Right Away
Big companies bury themselves with accountants and lawyers to defend and justify their conduct, so if you’re in the midst of a fraudulent scheme, you need to speak with a whistleblower lawyer as soon as possible to understand your rights and make sure you don’t become the scapegoat for the conduct.
Whistleblowers are protected through various programs and statutes, but only if they are navigated properly. There’s an SEC Whistleblower Program to report when companies who are subject to SEC regulations are corrupt and with an SEC whistleblower lawyer you can potentially remain anonymous from start to finish. Similarly, with commodities, the CFTC whistleblower program which had a record year with hundreds of millions of dollars of recoveries has mechanisms to protect the whistleblower. There’s also the IRS whistleblower program which requires a very detailed and specific case designed to catch tax cheats who did over $2 million of fraud, but generally much more. Also, many states have their own respective whistleblower programs with states like the California Whistleblower Laws and Illinois Whistleblower Laws allowing one to bring a case when private insurance companies are defrauded and New York Whistleblower Laws having teeth to combat tax cheats.
However, by far the most expansive use of whistleblower protections and recoveries comes from the False Claims Act (FCA), which has had billions upon billions of recoveries year after year. People who speak with False Claims Act attorneys must have cases in which the government is defrauded. Generally, the most abuse is found with Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud and it can be elegant with structuring where certain locations of facilities are and whether they’re on campus or off campus, timing of submissions of claims or altering locations of claims to ensure larger recoveries, upcoding in many different ways such as the billing a higher code for more Medicare reimbursement and false diagnosis. In some egregious cases, not only do health care providers bill for services not rendered, but even worse they bill for services rendered but not needed! Imagine being subjected to an unnecessary surgery just so the doctor can receive a bonus or make a yacht payment. Also popular are illegal kickbacks in which the medical provider pays for Medicare or Medicaid patients and Stark Act issues where the medical provider restricts the patient’s choices and compels them to go to a pharmacist or facility such as physical therapy where the provider has an undisclosed interest.
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Whistleblowers should do the right thing and candidly discuss with their whistleblower lawyer the facts of their case to see what type of rights you have. The longer you silently sit by while you witness the Medicare Fraud or Medicaid Fraud, the more compromised you are. Don’t fall for calling their whistleblower hotline which is oftentimes a hotline that will lead to the whistleblower’s firing. Once you become aware of the fraud or once you’ve decided you want to do something about it you should speak with a professional who focuses their practice on whistleblower rights. In the medical field, you wouldn’t expect to show up to work without any training and know how to perform surgery, similarly the right whistleblower law firm will have the right tools and advise to counsel you about how to perform the qui tam operation to allow the greatest chance of success.
With success there is also a tremendous possible upside. With billions recovered last year alone, whistleblower awards could amount to up to 30% of the recovery, which means last year courageous individuals received hundreds of millions of dollars for doing the right thing.
If you know of Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud or many other types of fraud, the company already has a head start on covering it up, you need to speak with a whistleblower lawyer like former FBI Special Agent Jason T. Brown of Brown, LLC, who can educate you about your rights and help navigate the best path to success.