Some tips in speaking with a whistleblower lawyer in Chicago, IL is to rely on one that has a track record of results protecting whistleblowers and prosecuting whistleblower cases like the whistleblower lawyers at Brown, LLC do. Whistleblower law is a very unique area of law because there are a lot of subtle differences that can make a case a success resulting in a whistleblower award or a dud, exposing the whistleblower to unneeded risks, eating up time, resources and stress. There’s never any guarantee we can win your case, but the lawyers at Brown, LLC are experienced Chicago, Illinois whistleblower lawyers who have helped the government through the False Claims Act (FCA) recover tens of millions of dollars and helped whistleblowers receive an award that is a percentage of the government’s recovery. Can I Be A Whistleblower? If you know of a case in which a company is committing Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud or ripping off the federal government you may be able to qualify as a whistleblower under Federal Law. Better yet, Illinois has additional protections and if you know of someone or a company defrauding private insurance, you may also qualify as a whistleblower under the Illinois qui tam statutes.

Most whistleblower cases involve allegations of defrauding the federal or state government. To that end, both the United States and Illinois have whistleblower laws that permit a private citizen known as a relator to bring a claim on behalf of the government want to recover up to 30% (or more) of what the qui tam case recovers for the government.

Illinois, however, takes a whistleblower claim one step further. With the Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act if you have information regarding a private insurance company being defrauded, not just the government, then the statute lets you pursue a claim. Only California and Illinois have whistleblower statutes that enable an individual to commence a whistleblower action on behalf of a private insurance company. However, before you blow the whistle, It is best to consult with a Chicago whistleblower lawyer to determine if your set of facts are actionable under the Federal False Claims Act, The Illinois False Claims, and/or the Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act or through some other mechanism.

When you’re filing a Chicago, Illinois Whistleblower lawsuit you have to follow the rules or right away your qui tam lawsuit will be dismissed and you could be subjected to sanctions. Your qui tam case must be filed secretly under seal and properly presented to the government to determine whether they want to accept and intervene in the case.

Intervention in whistleblower litigation is important, because the resources of the government, investigative and otherwise, can possibly advance your case in a wider spectrum than without the government. Statistics show that intervened cases settle for significantly higher whistleblower award amounts than non-intervened ones. However, if the government intervenes in your Chicago, Illinois whistleblower action then expect less of a percentage of recovery for you the relator, also known as the whistleblower.

There are other types of whistleblower actions to bring as well. Chicago is one of the financial bedrocks of the world, with commodities and other exchanges located here. A Chicago, Illinois whistleblower law firm could evaluate your fact pattern and find out if you have a valid SEC whistleblower claim or a CFTC whistleblower claim. The CFTC is the COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION, and in 2018 there was a record whistleblower settlement in which the whistleblower received a whistleblower award of $30 million dollars. There are many different ways in which there can be commodities fraud, whether it’s inside trading, not having the best interest of the client in mind, secreting assets, pump and dumps, fake news articles, inside and information, and many more.

There’s many other areas of law the public classically thinks are called a whistleblower cases and unfortunately, it’s just not. Just because a company is engaging in an illegal or immoral or unethical practice, even if it’s unsafe does not automatically mean you bring an action as a whistleblower. In fact, the case law and statutes in most jurisdictions forbid that type of action, but still, its best to speak with a lawyer to sort out what’s actionable versus what is not.

Let’s discuss some examples. Say a Chicago, Illinois hospital has been defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances, by upcoding the work, billing for services not rendered, providing kickbacks for referrals, and self-referring business. This would be actionable under the Illinois False Claims Act, the Federal False Claims Act, the Stark Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute (component of the FCA), and the Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act. It would have to be filed under seal notifying the appropriate Federal, State, and Cook County authorities correctly and if proven could be a successful Chicago, Illinois whistleblower lawsuit.

If there’s any hint that there’s also an element of opioid overprescription, then the case could be fast-tracked, since the government is looking to go after dirty doctors who are pain pushers and forcing or overprescribing opioids.

In contrast, let’s say you work for a call center or restaurant in Chicago, who is illegally paying the workers less than minimum wage, not paying overtime properly, and engaging in other shady and deceptive practices. That case may very well be a case under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Illinois state wage and hour laws, but even if you tell on them it would not be considered a true whistleblower lawsuit.

One of the biggest topics whistleblowers like to discuss is retaliation. Although the law expressly forbids whistleblower retaliation, it inevitably happens. Although the case is filed under seal, at some point the seal may be partially or fully lifted, and before the company may engage in a “mole hunt” to determine who the anonymous whistleblower is and then decide what to do with that individual. Just like a spy movie in which one party is engaging in a “mole hunt” it is important to understand timing of things, have your parachute ready, know what to do when you’re corralled and cornered and how to deploy countermeasures. Also, one must consider many other factors, such as is there a criminal element to the fraud, is the extent of the fraud so deep that the organization will be shut down if there is a criminal prosecution – can the company withstand and pay a large whistleblower settlement and/or judgment?

All these questions and more are all the more reasons to consult with a Chicago Illinois whistleblower firm. Firms that focus on this area of law generally are only paid if they win your case and can provide you with a free confidential consultation.

In short, if you think you might have a whistleblower case and want to know your rights and options you should speak with a Chicago Illinois whistleblower lawyer as soon as possible. With many of these statutes the only person who can receive a whistleblower award is the first to file, so every day you wait, someone may beat you to the punch. Don’t delay, call right now to speak with a whistleblower lawyer Chicago, IL relies on.