You have been working with your company’s books and think employer is involved in illegal or unethical practices against the government. Should you become a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person has information about illegal activity and helps the government stop fraud and misconduct. If you believe your employer is fraudulent or unethical activity, you may be eligible to file a whistleblower action.
In order to file a whistleblower case, six things must be true:
1. Your employer must have intentionally broken the law.
Poor businesses practices are not the same as illegal behavior. In order to file a whistleblower claim, you must show that your employer intentionally acted in an unethical manner which resulted in the misuse of government money or the endangerment of the public.
2. The misconduct must be covered by whistleblower law.
Your employer must have violated a specific law or regulation. Visit our page, Do You Have a Whistleblower Case, to learn about the many types of whistleblower cases we handle at Petrelli Law.
3. There must enough money involved to make the investigation worthwhile.
The government must invest significant time and resources in order to investigate a whistleblower case. The government will not consider your claim if it costs more to investigate the claim than the claim is actually worth.
4. You must have original evidence of the fraud or illegal action
In order to file a whistleblower claim, you must have concrete and specific evidence that the wrongdoing occurred. Your evidence must be original and cannot come from publically available sources like the internet. Evidence may include copies or descriptions of documents, photographs, computer files. Make sure you back-up your evidence to protect it from damage.
5. You must be the first to file such a claim
Whistleblowers are protected by the “first to file” rule. This prevents a potential others from pursuing a claim with the same facts or evidence.
6. You must file the claim in a timely manner
Every whistleblower claims is subject to statutes of limitations. Actions involving the False Claims Act cases must be filed within six years of the fraud. Actions involving the Dodd-Frank Act must be reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) within three years. It takes time to file a case; therefore, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
The whistleblower attorneys at Petrelli Law are happy to answer your questions. If you would like to discuss your unique situation with a lawyer, please call us at 800-432-9461 to schedule a free consultation. There is no obligation, and everything you tell us will be kept confidential.