Past Results Don’t Guarantee Future Success. The results in your case may vary depending on your particular facts and circumstances. All cases involve Jason T. Brown, Esquire and/or Brown, LLC
The Right Way
If you wish to speak with a whistleblower lawyer in Chicago, IL regarding companies or individuals defrauding the federal government may be entitled to a whistleblower award – if they blow the whistle the right way. At Brown, LLC, our whistleblower lawyers represent individuals with information that enables the government, under a statute known as the False Claims Act (FCA), to recover federal funds that were obtained by fraud and in turn, if successful, receive a whistleblower award and also under special laws like the Chicago Municipal False Claims Acts and The Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act (ICFPA), which is one of the only laws in the country that allows a private individual bring a case when an insurance company has been systemically defrauded.
Illinois state law has its own version of the False Claims Act (to recover state funds that were fraudulently obtained); unlike the federal Act, the Illinois False Claims Act can be used to recover unpaid taxes. And Illinois is one of only two states (at present) with a separate Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act, which allows an individual to sue on behalf of private insurance companies that were defrauded – not just Medicare or Medicaid.
The City of Chicago even has its own False Claims Act, too (to recover funds defrauded from the city).
You should call Brown, LLC’s whistleblower attorneys if you have information about systemic fraud upon any federal government program, any state or city government program, or any private insurance. Also, if you have suffered retaliation as a result of reporting fraudulent conduct at work, we especially want to hear from you.
The whistleblower law firm of Brown, LLC has a team of whistleblower lawyers led by a former FBI Special Agent. The team has obtained several hundred million dollars in settlements and judgments (but keep in mind, past results don’t guarantee future success). We have whistleblower lawyers in Chicago, IL, but we handle cases all over the country. We work hard to win – especially since we take whistleblower cases on a contingency basis, meaning we’re only paid if we win money for you. Our firm will educate you about the process to prepare you for what you might encounter, and we’ll passionately prosecute the matter in order to obtain a significant whistleblower award for you.
How the Federal False Claims Act Works
Under the federal False Claims Act (FCA), a whistleblower can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government, concerning fraud upon a federal program. Common examples are Medicare/Medicaid fraud, pharmaceutical fraud, and defense contractor fraud, but the FCA can be used to recover funds defrauded from any federal program. Here are some examples:
- Faking results of drug trials in order to get or keep FDA approval (yes, this happens)
- Promoting a medicine or medical device for “off-label” use
- Selling products that don’t work
- Kickbacks: giving doctors free services, goods, or cash for using or promoting a product
Defense Contractor Fraud
- Billing for services not rendered or products not provided
- Kickbacks (e.g., paying someone off to get a contract)
- Not fulfilling a government contract in the manner certified to the government, including not paying the prevailing wage as required by the Davis-Bacon Act
- Bribing a foreign official (illegal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act)
Note that you cannot file an FCA lawsuit on your own – you must work with a qui tam lawyer. The FCA process is complex and technical and has many pitfalls for the unwary. If you have insider information about fraud against the federal government, call the experienced whistleblower lawyers at Brown, LLC in Chicago, IL today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Federal FCA Whistleblower Awards
A successful whistleblower is entitled to an award of between 15% and 30% of what the federal government recovers in an FCA case (the percentage varies depending on just how the case plays out). In the last three decades, the U.S. government has paid whistleblowers hundreds of millions of dollars. Contact us at Brown, LLC and request a free, confidential consultation with our whistleblower lawyers in Chicago, IL, to learn if your information may qualify for a financial award.
Illinois State and Chicago Municipal False Claims Acts
The False Claims Acts of the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago are similar in form and process to the federal False Claims Act. These statutes can be used to blow the whistle on fraudsters who cheat the state or the city (respectively), without also fraudulently obtaining federal funds. Examples might be construction companies or others who falsely certify eligibility for contracts with the state or city, who falsely certify their performance on those contracts, or who falsely certify compliance with state or local laws.
The Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act (ICFPA)
As mentioned, Illinois is one of only two states – the other is California – with a separate statute allowing individuals to sue on behalf of a private (commercial) insurer that has been defrauded. The statute is called the Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act (ICFPA), and it is a very important tool for Illinois whistleblowers.
The Illinois law was enacted to help protect the public from the potential consequences of large insurance-fraud losses, such as premium increases and smaller coverage limits. They cover a wide range of misconduct including upcoded health-insurance claims, kickback schemes, false workers-compensation claims and many other types of fraud.
When funds are recovered as a result of an ICFPA lawsuit, the whistleblower is eligible to receive at least 30% of the recovery when the state intervenes, and at least 40% if the state does not join the case. The whistleblower is also entitled to reasonable expenses and attorneys’ fees, to be paid by the defendant.
Other Federal Whistleblower Programs
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Reward Program. If you have information regarding tax underpayments by individuals or companies exceeding $2 million, you could receive between 15% and 30% of the total amount collected by the government. Examples of IRS fraud include having two sets of books (or offshore accounts) to hide income, and claiming false deductions and/or losses. Please note that Brown, LLC will only consider cases in which the fraud is large and the proofs are extensive, since the IRS will only act on very large frauds that are handed to them on a silver platter.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Program. Whistleblowers who provide information to the SEC about violations of SEC laws and/or regulations may receive an award of 10% to 30% of the amount recovered. These cases generally deal with inside trading, self-dealing, putting the company’s interests in front of their clients’, or even bribing foreign officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. An SEC whistleblower who uses a lawyer can potentially remain anonymous. Brown, LLC’s Jersey City offices are a seven-minute PATH ride from Wall Street.
The Commodity Exchange Act Whistleblower Reward Program. Under this program administered by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), if you report violations concerning commodities options, swaps, or futures, you may be eligible for a reward of 10% to 30% of what the government recovers. Commodities fraud may involve inside trading, self-dealing, and putting clients’ interests last. Companies that trade and deal with products such as gas, oil, agricultural products, foreign currency, and anything else that is traded on the global market are included in this category.
There are many other federal and state whistleblower statutes. It’s critical to speak with a law firm that has experience navigating all the whistleblower options. After a careful review of your information, Brown, LLC’s whistleblower lawyers in Chicago, IL, can discuss your options, likely outcomes, and whether it’s better to file a whistleblower lawsuit or take a different approach. Several variables will affect the whistleblower award you may receive (if any), such as the size of the government’s recovery, whether the government intervenes in the action or not, any delay in blowing the whistle, whether you profited from the fraud, cooperation by you and your counsel in the government’s investigation, and many other factors.
If you have information about a company or an individual who has committed Medicare/Medicaid fraud, or is defrauding the government in some other way, contact us to learn more about various whistleblower programs. At Brown, LLC, we protect whistleblowers and provide free consultations with a whistleblower lawyer. Residents of Chicago, IL, and all over the country routinely turn to us for answers and to prosecute their whistleblower lawsuits. Call us today.