One of the most important steps in blowing the whistle on fraud is finding a False Claims Act law firm that knows the tricks of the trade. Think of a new restaurant opening in New York City. If the owner knows the details about design and atmosphere, as well as providing great tasting food, it could make all the difference to their success. Planning a successful lawsuit means knowing all the twists and turns that can derail the project. It also includes careful planning to avoid those pitfalls.
False Claims Act Law Firms Have Experience in Protecting Clients
One of the most important aspects of a False Claims Act action is protecting the person who brings the case to the attention of the government. This person, known as a whistleblower, can face serious consequences in retaliation for their courage. Most of these penalties are in violation of the False Claims Act, but you need an attorney who knows how to apply the law.
Most whistleblowers want their identity to remain concealed. When an attorney brings a claim to the District Court, the government begins an investigation. During the time they are seeking out the facts, confidentiality is guaranteed by law. In fact, the company under investigation is not even aware of the process. As long as the whistleblower does not expose his involvement, his part in the action remains private.
A False Claims Act violation brought to court is a “qui tam” act. Qui tam roughly translates to “on behalf of the king.” It means the private individual is filing suit on behalf of the government. One of the provisions of the qui tam law is keeping the identity of the relator, or whistleblower, confidential. If the relator reveals his involvement, the court can dismiss the lawsuit. This confidentiality stipulation extends to the media. It is of the utmost importance to avoid speaking to anyone about the investigation.
What Other Protections Can a False Claims Act Law Firm Provide?
When the government indicts a corporation for fraud, people expect retaliation. After all, if there was not a fear of defrauding the United States government, why would harm to an employee be out of the realm of possibility? They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When the people running a multi-billion dollar scam have skated on their criminal activity for years, they see themselves as having absolute power.
Qui tam laws are specific about protecting the identity of the whistleblower during the investigation. Once a case goes to court, however, these protections stop. The relator who brings forth the case has no more protection than the defendant in a public hearing. At this point, the lawyer’s work to protect his client takes off in earnest.
Can A False Claims Act Law Firm Prevent Job Loss for the Whistleblower?
Losing a job as a result of a fraud report is a valid concern. Often employees in a position giving them knowledge of the crime have worked for years for that level of pay. When the employee has a family to sustain, the fear is even more intense.
The good news is that the law provides ample protection for a whistleblower. The provisions are close to all-encompassing. Think of how a bumper-to-bumper warranty provides protection for every aspect of a new car. It covers mechanical and electrical parts, maintenance and even everyday wear and tear. With a guarantee like that, you wouldn’t feel afraid to buy the car.
A whistleblower with an experienced lawyer doesn’t need to fear moving forward either. The law provides complete protection for the whistleblower. The government is aware they would not know about most fraud without the public’s help. These laws make it safer and easier to come forward.
The law provides protection against loss of job or benefits. A disgruntled employer cannot withhold promotions or pay raises. The guilty party cannot destroy the employee’s reputation. An employer cannot force or deny a transfer to another location. In fact, the law prevents harassment in every form. A False Claims Act firm knows this and will take steps to keep the relator safe from harm.
Even though there are strict laws preventing job loss for the whistleblower, it is important to have a safety net while things proceed. Your attorney will be able to get your job reinstated. But there is no real guarantee you won’t go through some unemployment while this part of the legal action moves along.
Even with the potential problems in bringing a fraud case forward, an employee who has knowledge of the crime must report it. If they fail to do so, they increase their involvement. This secrecy also increases their personal liability.
To file a fraud case, you need an attorney. Choosing an attorney who focuses on False Claims Act cases is your wisest move. Contact the experienced False Claims Act law firm at Bothwell Law Group by calling 770.643.1606 today.