Rewards For People Who “Blow The Whistle” On Frauds And Scams
When illegal activity takes place within a company or organization, it is often only the employees who can recognize it and bring it forward to the government’s attention. In order to encourage the reporting of fraud and wrongdoing, Congress and most states have enacted laws that reward citizens who report it to the government. These employees or citizens are knowns as “whistleblowers.”
Under the federal False Claims Act, an employee who reports the employer’s fraud is eligible to receive a minimum of 15% of what the government recovers. In cases where the recovery is in the millions this is a very large reward for the employee who reports the fraud.
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, we understand what it takes to pursue a whistleblowing case. We partner with the person or persons who seek to unveil the wrongdoing to ensure that their claim is recognized as a strong case and worth pursuit. Our involvement also works to make sure whistleblowers are compensated for their tip-off, evidence and participation. We help safeguard a whistleblower’s anonymity and shield them against retaliation.
Some Recent Whistleblower Cases And Rewards
We have helped numerous whistleblowers get the compensation they deserve and the financial reward to the employee in these kinds of cases has been tremendous:
March 2021: $22 million employee reward (for Government’s recovery of $105 million)
February 2021: $1.9 million employee reward (for Government’s recovery of $11.2 million)
January 2021: $25 million employee reward (for Government’s recovery of $25 million)
August 17, 2016: A former medical assistant who worked for Dr. David Spellberg of Naples Urology Associates in Florida, a division of 21st Century Oncology, will receive a whistleblower award of $37,500 from the $250,000 Florida urologist Robert A. Scappa, a urologist with 21st Century Oncology division Scappa Urology, agreed to pay to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act. The urologist caused claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for laboratory tests that were not medically necessary. The whistleblower previously received a whistleblower award of $3.2 million from the $19.75 million settlement previously reached with 21st Century Oncology. The medical assistant was represented by Benjamin H. Yormak.
4 Main Types Of Fraud And False Claims
There are four common types of fraud or false claims. These are heath care fraud, pharmaceutical fraud, construction fraud and financial industry fraud. Here are examples of each:
Health care fraud: There are many types of fraud within our health care system. The most typical are charging for services not rendered, ghost patients (people who do not exist or who did not receive any treatment), kickbacks (including discounts, speaker’s fees, referral fees, finder’s fees and productivity bonuses and other compensation). Upcoding services (to charge for a more expensive procedure than what was performed), bundling and unbundling services to bill for the greatest amount, doing procedures that are not medically necessary are also tactics used. Additionally, physicians, pharmaceutical company’s managers, hospitals and other health care providers can falsely certify that they meet the government’s certification standards when they do not. Other types of health care fraud include research grant fraud, improper financial interest (the Stark Law), inflating cost reports and redlining and Medicare Part D fraud which includes rebates, duplicate billing and overcharging.
Pharmaceutical fraud: The most common pharmaceutical fraud is the off-label marketing of drugs. This is when the drug manufacturer markets their drug to treat symptoms and diseases the drug is not approved for and not proven effective for by the FDA. People with inside knowledge such as sales reps pharmaceutical employees and health care workers are usually the people who come forward. Illegal kickbacks include bonuses to physicians and hospitals and other financial incentives. Various illegal financial inducements, inflated Average Wholesale Pricing (AWP), concealed discounts and best price fraud are not uncommon schemes.
Construction and procurement fraud: Constructions companies that build subsidized housing, infrastructure and office buildings charge the U.S. government billions of dollars annually. Many of these charges are inflated or falsified. Reporting bribes, kickbacks, or the use of substandard materials or workmanship, bid-rigging and other illegal activities are actions whistleblowers can take. The government is also defrauded every year of billions of dollars by false good procurement claims for items such as office equipment, construction equipment, fuel, security and consulting services. False good procurement can also be reported by a whistleblower.
Financial industry fraud: This type of fraud includes outright theft from investors, insider trading, pump-and-dump and Ponzi schemes and front running. Some companies create false financial reports. Mutual fund fraud, which put investors at a disadvantage is also not unheard of. These types of fraud are also eligible for whistleblowers to report on.
Can Your Information Lead To A Financial Reward?
If you have insider information about fraud or false claims, we can help. Call 239-399-8808 and set up a free, confidential consultation. Our board-certified expert will let you know if you should move forward, and what to do next. You can also reach out to us online and we will be in touch with you.