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How key is whistleblower participation in government fraud matters?

Commentators on the U.S. False Claims Act (FCA) often spotlight the year 1986 as being clearly relevant for money recoveries against wrongdoers seeking to defraud the federal government.

A recent article on FCA clawbacks against government fraud duly notes that year, as do we on a website page at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah (SFMS) addressing false claims, whistleblower and qui tam matters. That media report points to 1986 as the year “when Congress increased the incentives for whistleblowers.”

What legislators specifically did was to up the ante for whistleblower rewards in threshold-amount cases. That action spurred an increased involvement that has unceasingly continued to the present.

Its effects have been flatly salutary. A recent U.S. Department of Justice release underscored the central importance of whistleblowers’ information in DOJ fraud cases brought under the FCA. Reportedly, whistleblower involvement in uncovering government-directed fraud “generated over 70% of the recoveries and represented over 80% of new cases” during fiscal year 2018.

That is unquestionably impressive and seemingly all the ammunition that proponents of qui tam actions need to justify and even expand the FCA whistleblower program. Although U.S. Attorney General-nominee Bill Barr has criticized the long-tenured initiative, the above article stresses that “it may prove difficult to suddenly reverse the Department’s traditional reliance on [qui tam] actions.”

Persons with whistleblower-linked questions or concerns might reasonably reach out to the deep legal team at SFMS. We duly note on our website the firm’s proven advocacy “for employees, executives and citizens who come forward to assist the government in exposing fraud and illegal activities.”

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