How Do I Report Fraud?
A common question raised by our clients is, “How do I report fraud?” Do I report the fraud internally? To whom do I report the fraud? What do I say? How do I protect myself? Should I call an internal or Government hotline?
Unfortunately, many of our clients come to us only after they’ve already reported the fraud, without first seeking advice of counsel.
There is a scale of effectiveness and protection that needs to be considered when considering reporting suspected misconduct. Reporting fraud in less conspicuous ways can lessen the protection of the False Claims Act or other whistleblower statutes, but it might also avoid triggering retaliation. The manner and method of reporting as well as the content and timing can affect the strength of the case and should be considered before being executed.
Whistleblowers often come to us only after they have been fired for reporting to their employers the fraud that they have discovered. While it is better to seek advice before reporting, the Bothwell Law Group often finds a way to extend the protection of the False Claims Act’s anti-discrimination protections to their clients.
Reporting to the Government can also be problematic because those reports can either be completely ineffective or they might trigger an investigation that can prevent the whistleblower from being rewarded for coming forward with crucial information. Sometimes if you have not already filed a qui tam action, you can be left completely out in the cold with no chance for recovery because of a public disclosure or a government lawsuit.
You want to do the right thing and you need to protect your own well-being in the process. Before you speak to anyone else about the fraud, you should call or a reliable Medicare fraud and False Claims Act qui tam whistleblower attorney.