The Process of Becoming a Whistleblower
Thinking about becoming a whistleblower? Understanding the correct process can help increase your protection and greatly increase your chances of a successful case.
The Importance Of Reporting Fraud Quickly
The statute of limitations, which determines how long a whistleblower can wait before filing a claim, may vary based on the details of your case.
For this reason, time is an important factor in every whistleblower case and fraudulent behavior should be reported in a timely manner.
Protect Yourself: Contact an Attorney
If you are considering becoming a whistleblower, you will want to contact an attorney for numerous reasons, such as:
- If your claim is filed under the SEC or IRS whistleblower programs, you will benefit by hiring an attorney to preserve anonymity. Most do this work on a contingency basis.
- All claims filed under the False Claims Act require that you to have an attorney.
- Having the right attorney greatly increases your chances of receiving a successful outcome and substantial reward.
Creating The Foundation of Your Case
Next, your attorney will create the foundation of your case by working with you to gather the necessary information, reviewing documents, and performing an initial investigation.
Your attorney will then need to decide in which program the claim will be filed under.
Determining Which Program To File Under
There are several different programs that whistleblower cases can be filed under, such as:
- IRS Whistleblower Program. If your claim involves income tax fraud, it will most likely be filed here. Legal representation will help you remain anonymous.
- SEC Whistleblower Program. For whistleblower cases involving financial fraud, claims can be filed here. Again, legal representation will allow for anonymity throughout the case.
- The False Claims Act (FCA). One of the most common types of whistleblower cases are called qui tam cases. In these cases the government is losing money or paying for services that fall below standards. If this describes your case, a claim will most likely be filed here.
Government Investigation and Prosecution
Once your claim has been filed and relevant evidence has been provided, the government will begin an investigation of their own. This could involve several interviews, extensive research, and the collection of more information if necessary.
As the case makes its way through court, you may be needed to provide additional information or insight. If not, whistleblowers will typically wait for the final results of the case.
If the case has a successful outcome, you will be eligible for a portion of the money that has been collected by officials. In order to increase the chances of a successful case, it is highly important to hire the right legal representation.