Whistleblower Reward Process

Whenever there is a False Claims Act case filed properly and the government or the whistleblower pursues the case and there is a successful settlement, the whistleblower may obtain an award. In addition, if the government pursues the case and they take the whistleblower’s allegations and pursue a civil action based on those allegations, but not to the qui tam itself, the whistleblower may also be entitled to an award. Of course, there are other laws that provide whistleblower rewards, with differing percentages as well. The SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs and the IRS whistleblower reward law provide additional ways for whistleblowers to earn awards.

To learn more about the whistleblower reward process and how a legal professional could help, contact an experienced lawyer today.

Conditions of a Whistleblower Reward

The whistleblower has to have voluntarily provided the information to the government. For example, if the whistleblower provided the information while they were being arrested, that would not count as a voluntarily provision of the information. Therefore, they would not be able to collect a reward. If they planned and initiated the action, or were involved in planning and initiating the action, they are likely to be limited in the award that they collect, if any.

The whistleblower is entitled to 15 to 25% out of what is collected by the government under the action if the government has intervened and or takes over the case. If the government does not take over the case and the whistleblower is nonetheless successful, the whistleblower would be entitled to 25 to 30% of whatever is collected at the end of the case. The court may limit the amount provided to the whistleblower if the allegations are based on public information to up to 10%.

Determining the Percentage of Award the Whistleblower Receives

One of the factors that determine the percentage of the ward is whether the government intervened in the case or not. Should the government take over the case, it is called an intervention. That means that the Relator would be entitled to lesser amounts than if the government did not take over the case.

The second issue is substantially a period of negotiation between the government and the whistleblower with respect to how much the whistleblower should earn. There are some cases where this has led to litigation. The Department of Justice has issued what it considers to be a legitimate set of criteria for determining what it would award whistleblowers. These so-called factors have not been adopted by the courts for the most part, nor are they part of the act itself.

A case that is going on longer, a case that is going on to trial may be in the position to obtain a higher relater share than others. Many lawyers do not think it makes any sense at all because the idea behind all this is the theory that the whistleblower should keep on cooperating with the government throughout. At the end of the day, it ends up being on some level of negotiation in an attempt to determine what the whistleblower should earn.

What is Covered Action?

The covered action is an SEC or CFTC whistleblower case situation. Covered action refers to the SEC whistleblower regulations to mean something they have posted on their website as a matter where they have collected a million dollars and is likely based on information provided by a whistleblower. At that point, a whistleblower has 90 days to file a claim for an award based on such called covered action.

What is a Related Action?

Under the False Claims Act and under the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs, it is entirely possible that the government may take the information provided by the whistleblower and pursue it in some means not contemplated initially by the court filing or the filing of either of those programs. Another government agency may take action and an administrative action may occur. Under those circumstances, a related action should provide the whistleblower with the same rights they would have had the government pursued directly through the SEC and CFTC in the case of those programs, or in court through the False Claims Act case.

Requirements for the IRS Whistleblower Program

To qualify for the IRS whistleblower program, one has to provide the government with original information that someone else has not provided on a voluntary basis. The IRS whistleblower program does require a whistleblower to file their allegations on an IRS form 211 and sign it personally under the fines and penalties of perjury. It could be said of the SEC whistleblower program or the CFTC whistleblower program that the whistleblower cannot remain anonymous to the IRS with respect to filing their case. On the other hand, the IRS tends to keep the identity with some discretion and is very discrete with respect to all the information regarding tax allegations.

Benefits of a Whistleblower Attorney During the Reward Process

A person should want a lawyer anywhere who understands how the law and the process work, and how they can be helpful in bringing a case. An accomplished whistleblower attorney with experience in the whistleblower reward process may be able to help you. Call today to set up a consultation with a dedicated legal professional.