Experienced Whistleblower Attorney

New York Whistleblower Attorney

New York Whistleblower Lawyer Protecting Your Rights

If you are hoping to expose fraud against the government, you may be able to bring a qui tam lawsuit. There are multiple protections in place for whistleblowers, and an experienced attorney can help make sure that you are protected if you blow the whistle on your employer or another entity that is engaged in misconduct against the government. James T. Ratner has 20 years of experience representing people in qui tam actions in New York and around the nation. He has dedicated his career to zealous advocacy for people trying to expose false claims and misconduct against the government. Our firm has recovered more than $400 million for the government and private plaintiffs. Qui tam lawsuits can be complicated, but this is a niche in which we have a record of success.

Whistleblower Claims

Whistleblowers play a crucial role in anti-fraud enforcement. Often, honest people interact with corrupt companies, and they may have the capacity to expose fraud and misconduct that might otherwise stay hidden. The government encourages whistleblowers by offering substantial awards under certain circumstances. The law also provides protection to employees who are trying to blow the whistle on a corrupt employer but are fearful of retaliation. There are qui tam provisions in the False Claims Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, and Dodd-Frank, among other laws.

False Claims Act

The False Claims Act (FCA) provides for the liability of people or companies that knowingly make a false claim for payment to the government. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can sue anyone who is defrauding the government and recover damages and penalties on the government's behalf. A whistleblower attorney in New York can assist you with this process. The lawsuits brought by whistleblowers are qui tam actions. Whistleblowers who bring successful qui tam lawsuits under the FCA are entitled to obtain rewards of 15-30% of the government's recovery. Whistleblowers, as well as people who investigate and give testimony or other assistance in an FCA lawsuit, are protected against retaliation.

Health Care Fraud

Most successful FCA claims involve health care fraud. The federal government spends billions to provide health care to older and low-income people through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Unfortunately, some health care providers and others manipulate payments in order to make money. If the government suffers losses as a result of a false health care claim, it may be possible to bring a qui tam action under the False Claims Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expanded the False Claims Act's scope to include liability for a health care provider's failure to refund an overpayment, among other things.

Government Contractor Fraud

The federal government spends massive amounts of money on contracts with subcontractors and private contractors. Whether they are defending overseas or building within the country, contractors' tasks are fundamental. However, some government contractors perpetrate fraud and misappropriate public resources. The False Claims Act permits individuals with knowledge of fraud in government contracts to bring qui tam lawsuits to recover funds that were lost because of fraud. For example, if a government contractor is falsely billing the United States or providing the government with a lower-standard product than what is provided in the contract, it may be appropriate for a New York whistleblower attorney to bring a qui tam lawsuit. Subcontractors and others affiliated with government contractors can also be held accountable under the False Claims Act.

Pharmaceutical Fraud

Companies may be held liable for pharmaceutical fraud under the False Claims Act. Often, pharmaceutical companies interact with the government because of regulations regarding the development of new or existing drugs. The FDA needs to approve a pharmaceutical before it is put on the market. The approval process is lengthy, and some companies try to circumvent requirements and perpetrate fraud. Private citizens may be able to sue a pharmaceutical company on behalf of the government under the FCA if the pharmaceutical company has engaged in practices like paying kickbacks to health care providers for favoring their drugs, off-label marketing, manufacturing substandard drugs, giving false data to the FDA, or withholding negative information about a pharmaceutical.

Medicare Fraud

Medicare fraud is a serious problem. Billions are spent on health care and prescription drugs for Americans through Medicare, Medicaid, and other medical programs. When health care providers overcharge or submit false billing claims to Medicare or Medicaid, public funds are stolen. Whistleblowers are considered vital to eliminating the problem of Medicare fraud. The FCA allows whistleblowers to bring lawsuits as relators on behalf of the government. Consulting a whistleblower lawyer in New York can be critical in making sure that the process goes smoothly. Sometimes whistleblowers are concerned that collecting and disclosing protected health information violates HIPAA, but HIPAA includes a permitted use clause that allows disclosure to an attorney, health oversight agency, or public health authority if the information is relevant to professional misconduct.

Financial Fraud

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act establishes rewards to encourage financial insiders to blow the whistle on parties that violate SEC rules and securities laws. Financial fraud that may be reported can take the forms of Ponzi schemes, insider trading, money laundering, and bribes to foreign governments to acquire business. Under Section 922, the Commission is supposed to pay awards to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily give the SEC original information resulting in a successful enforcement action that produces monetary sanctions of over $1 million. However, you should be aware that in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that employees are not protected under Dodd-Frank unless they report the securities law violation to the SEC.

Tax Fraud

The IRS Whistleblower Program gives financial incentives to people who report tax fraud, tax evasion, underpayments, or tax shelters. There are two types of awards, one that is used if what is in dispute is more than $2 million and another that is used when the noncompliant taxpayer has a gross income of less than $200,000. If the IRS uses the information that you give in connection with a dispute involving more than $2 million, it can award you up to 30% of the additional penalties, taxes, or other sums that it collects from a noncompliant taxpayer. The New York State False Claims Act permits people to bring qui tam actions against anyone who knowingly or recklessly underpays state taxes. A New York whistleblower lawyer can guide you in a claim under state law. A whistleblower can get 15-30% of the recovery if the lawsuit is successful.

Whistleblower Retaliation

Many people are fearful about becoming whistleblowers. However, the False Claims Act and Dodd-Frank, as well as other important laws, have anti-retaliation provisions. Employees, contractors, and other agents of a company are protected from being terminated, demoted, suspended, harassed, threatened, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in employment terms and conditions because they investigated, reported, or tried to stop the company from engaging in conduct that would defraud the federal government. To prove retaliation, you would need to show that you engaged in a protected whistleblowing activity, and you were mistreated due to your protected whistleblowing. Under the FCA, if workplace retaliation occurs, an employee is entitled to all of the relief necessary to make them whole, possibly including double back pay, reinstatement with seniority, interest on back pay, compensation for the discrimination, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

Consult a Knowledgeable Qui Tam Lawyer

If you are thinking about blowing the whistle on fraud or corruption against the government, you should retain an experienced whistleblower attorney at our New York firm. James T. Ratner has dedicated his career to helping clients navigate the complexities of federal and state whistleblower laws. He has helped whistleblowers around the country. Contact us at (845) 383-1728 or via our online form.

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