COMMON MISTAKES WHISTLEBLOWERS MAKE
As a whistleblower law firm who has successfully handled many cases and also observed the way qui tam cases fall apart, here is a list of some common mistakes whistleblowers make. If handled correctly whistleblower cases can remedy the enduring problems that lead to fraud against the government, which in turn causes taxes to go up and in turn handsomely compensate the whistleblower for their courage in coming forward. If dealt with improperly, it’s like a belly flop, in which you’ll make an ugly splash, and have nothing but the red marks to show for it. And now the list…
FAILURE TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER YOUR CASE IS ACTUALLY A WHISTLEBLOWER CASE
One of the mantras of Sherlock Holmes, the renowned fictional detective is to never ignore the obvious. Too often people are cocksure that they have a whistleblower case, but in fact, but in the end either the fact patterns are entitled to statutory protection or it’s not, no matter how loudly they crow. Some things that qualify for Federal Whistleblower Protections:
- False Claims Act
-Blowing the whistle on things like Medicare Fraud or Medicaid Fraud
-Billing for services not rendered
-Billing for medically unnecessary procedures
-Promoting a product for off label purposes
-Falsifying approval or supplemental information to the FDA
-Kickbacks to prescribers
-Defense Contractor Fraud
-Billing for services not rendered
-Willfully avoiding the terms of the contract
-Substituting inferior goods or services than promised to the government
-Not paying taxes or tariffs
- IRS Whistleblowers
-Blowing the whistle on an individual or entity who has failed to pay at least 2 million in taxes (general minimum threshold to have IRS involvement, but with recent developments in the law failure to pay taxes at all may result in the ability to prosecute at lower levels)
-Tax Fraud or Tax Evasion
- SEC Whistleblowers
-Sarbanes Oxley violations
-Fiduciary acting for its own best interest rather than the best interest of the client
There are some other federal protections as well, but if your case doesn’t fit into one of the above big items in whistleblower law, it may not be a classical whistleblower case under federal law, but it is always advisable to speak with a qualified, competent whistleblower lawyer to make that determination which leads us to the next mistake.
FAILURE TO RETAIN A WHISTLEBLOWER LAW FIRM EARLY ENOUGH, OR AT ALL
If you’re sick you might comb the internet to assist with self-diagnosing what your illness is, but if you’re really sick you wouldn’t be able to tell whether you’re just fatigued or if you have Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) without consulting a professional. Worse, you may read about some stuff on the internet and think you have the cure, when in fact, drinking a spoonful of the latest fad (glysophate-free tarantula honey) could in fact still poison you.
The same is with the law. You need a professional whose been through it before to assist you in taking the right steps. In fact, most courts rule that to file a False Claims Act lawsuit you need a False Claims Act lawyer or you can’t file it pro se (without a lawyer). That doesn’t even include the perils that you might not file it correctly, since the matter needs to be filed under seal with proper notice to the Attorney General and without noticing the defendants. Any misstep here may kill your case right out of the gate.
Another common plague we see is that when people run to the government first without filing anything and then retroactively want compensation for that information after the government has concluded its case. Well, even if you were the original source of the information, unless you’re the first to file under the rules, your information may have resulted in a hundred million dollar recovery for the government, but you’re probably going to not receive the standard 15-25% whistleblower award unless you commenced your action before the government concluded it’s case. They don’t even have to tell you that, and when you find out, you may have all the downsides of being the whistleblower and none of the upsides.
SPEAK WITH A WHISTLEBLOWER LAW FIRM TO LEARN YOUR RIGHTS
All this adds up to a simple, inevitable conclusion, that if you have information and you think you’re a whistleblower and want to know how to blow the whistle, or expose Medicare fraud or Medicaid fraud you should speak with a whistleblower law firm that whistleblowers rely on by calling Brown, LLC at (877) 561-0000 and speaking with their whistleblower team to find out if you have a viable case and if its worth proceeding and what the proper route is to maximize your chance for a successful outcome for your whistleblower lawsuit.