The Long Island Business News published an article yesterday about the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 which improved the whistleblower protections of the False Claims Act (FCA). Called, "Government Whistle Blowing Pays Off," the article invites those who want to make millions to, "buy a whistle."
“Billions and billions of dollars in new government spending has been authorized,” the article quotes Stephen M. Kohn, president of the National Whistleblowers Center. “The taxpayers need the strongest possible anti-fraud laws in order to prevent financial recovery monies from being looted.”
The article notes that over 20 state and local jurisdictions now have their own "Little FCAs" offering rewards and protection for those who report fraud against those jurisdictions. The National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) has a map showing these jurisdictions.
The article reports that since 1986, the FCA has recovered $14 billion, and whistleblowers got to keep over $2 billion of that. “You have to compensate people for taking on that burden,” said Michael Sullivan in the article. Sullivan is a partner at Atlanta-based Finch McCranie, specializing in whistleblower suits. “Being ostracized. Attacked. Sometimes they get sued by companies doing the wrong.”
The article reports on a similar new program for those who report tax fraud costing the Internal Revenue Service over $2 million. Passed in December, 2006, the IRS Whistleblower Rewards Program, offers whistleblowers 15 percent to 30 percent of such recoveries – along with anonymity. FCA whistleblowers will not be anonymous once their suit is "unsealed" (after the government makes its decision whether or not to intervene in the case).