Understanding Texas Whistleblowers and the False Claims Act

If you become aware of fraud or other illegal activity at your place of work and you want to report what’s going on internally, it is important to be aware of all your rights. It is illegal for your employer to punish you for blowing the whistle on unlawful acts that you have observed over the course of its business. If you believe that you have been fired, demoted, or otherwise punished for this type of thing, you can sue the company under the False Claims Act.

What Is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act is a federal law that is set up to help hold parties that defraud government programs responsible. One section of the law, termed the “qui tam” provision, specifically provides protections to non-government employees who blow the whistle on illegal activities. This is an extremely effective law, and according to the latest statistics available, more than 70% of all False Claims Act cases have been brought about by whistleblowers, which almost certainly wouldn’t be the case if it weren’t for the protections it provides. In addition to providing protection from repercussions, the False Claims Act also offers incentives for whistleblowers to report fraudulent activities.

What are Whistleblower Claims?

A whistleblower claim is when you report fraud or some other type of illegal activity within a business. If your report leads to recovered damages, you will receive a portion of these damages. This is a strong incentive to file a report in most cases since there is a potential for a significant reward should the report lead to a successful prosecution.

An example of a whistleblower claim would be if a janitor working at a VA hospital discovered that doctors were giving away medications without going through the established steps, or even verifying that patients were entitled to VA benefits when they weren’t. The janitor could report this to the proper authorities, who could then conduct a full investigation. If they found that the doctors were indeed doing this, and it was costing the taxpayers $100,000 per year, the janitor would have a claim on a portion of that savings.

What are the Potential Rewards?

Those who file under the False Claims Act can qualify for a portion of the damages that are recovered because of the report in question. The amount they can get will vary depending on the details of the case, but will typically range from 15-25% of the recovered amount. From 1987 to 2013, whistleblowers led to $27.2 billion in total recovered damages, which indicates how much someone could receive.

Seek the Help You Need

If you have knowledge of some type of fraud or other illegal activity within a business and you would like help reporting it properly to maximize the potential of getting a reward, we can help. We can also help if you believe you have been unjustly punished after blowing the whistle on someone. Contact Amsberry Law Firm to discuss your situation and see what we can do for you.

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Written by Amsberry Law Firm

Amsberry Law Firm

Mr. Amsberry is board-certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a proven litigator who has argued before the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and earned favorable outcomes in complex, precedent-setting employment and civil rights cases. He served as a reservist assistant judge advocate general in the U.S. Army and is a sought-after lecturer and speaker on a range of legal issues.

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