Ohio Government Fraud Lawyer and Cincinnati Whistleblower protection attorney reviewing healthcare fraud, financial fraud and contractor fraud for plaintiffs nationwide
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported this fiscal year that it received the largest number of whistleblowers tips, and paid out the most rewards ever. Whistleblower lawsuits are also known as Qui Tam lawsuits, and can be filed against companies for defrauding the government.
The SEC’s annual report was published and indicates the growth of whistleblower plaintiff cases nationwide. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower has paid more than $326 million to 59 whistleblowers in the last seven years.
The SEC established the program in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. $1.7 billion in penalties has been collected by the SEC in cases involving whistleblowers. The report notes that it awarded around $168 million to 13 individuals in the last year. The amount paid out for tips totals more than the prior six years combined. The two largest awards involved three individuals totaling $83 million, and to two individuals totaling almost $54 million.
The Office of the Whistleblower received 5,282 whistleblower tips in 2018, about 18 percent more than in 2017. Whistleblowers who provide information that helps the SEC collect a minimum or $1 million in fines can potentially receive between 10 and 30 percent of the fine.
The reward percentage for each plaintiffs depends on several factors, and it is prudent to hire a whistleblower protection attorney to maximize the payout from the agency, as well as protect oneself from company retaliation. Payouts generally depend on the significance of the information received as well as the level of cooperation by the individual whistleblower.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio fraud lawyer and Cincinnati whistleblower protection attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in healthcare fraud, financial fraud and government contractor fraud cases.
Publicity and media reports about large whistleblower settlements have contributed to an increase in the number in tips, according to legal experts representing plaintiffs. More people have come forward since the recent decision on whistleblower protections as well. Individuals that report alleged corporate wrongdoing must contact both the SEC and their company to qualify for anti-retaliation protection. Plaintiffs before had to fear more about retaliation, but the size of rewards is now enough to get more employees to come forward. Common industries targeted in whistleblower lawsuits include:
Exposing fraud not only recovers taxpayers money and punishes a deceptive company, but it can result in a large settlement and reward for a plaintiff. It is important to know the widespread implications of coming forward, however, and to contact an Ohio whistleblower protection attorney to discuss.
Whistleblowers must have the courage to do the right and ethical thing and come forward. Employees may face retaliation, but that is illegal, and a Cincinnati whistleblower protection attorney can assist you in the challenging days after coming forward.
If you have hard evidence or have reason to believe your employer is misusing government funds, and have questions about the legal options available, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, an Ohio qui tam lawyer and Cincinnati whistleblower protection attorney, and he will help you answer these critical questions.