When a whistleblower steps forward to report fraud, public health risks, unlawful conduct, or other wrongdoing by an employer, retaliation is always a concern. Federal and state whistleblower laws were put in place to encourage individuals to speak up and do the right thing without fear of reprisal.
At the Dilendorf Law Firm, our experienced whistleblower retaliation lawyers are dedicated to protecting whistleblowers while zealously prosecuting retaliation claims from whistleblowers. We help employees properly submit sealed claims while protecting their rights throughout the process.
Ever since Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, otherwise known as “Dodd-Frank”, a robust set of remedies and statutes preventing employer retaliation are now in place.
Many of the clients we represent are using Dodd-Frank protections to report the following:
- Violations of securities law
- Violations of laws governing the Commodities Futures Trading Commission
- Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- These may include crimes such as broker fraud, insider trading, corporate bribery, corporate fraud, and market manipulation.
We work hard to ensure all of our clients feel secure and protected, as well as guard against any form of retaliation. These actions are filed under the Federal False Claims Act and various states’ false claim acts, or submitted under agency whistleblower statutes including those of the SEC, CFTC, and IRS.
Employers who still attempt to retaliate against a whistleblower will face strict penalties, which might include doubling back pay, legal fees, and other penalties. In addition, employees who have suffered retaliation are protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and may file a claim with the Department of Labor.
For employees who work for companies that do business with the federal government or any of its agencies, the Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§ 3729) provides protection and monetary rewards for individuals who report fraudulent activity.
The Dilendorf Law Firm ensures that all claims are filed correctly and with the appropriate parties while protecting the privacy of our clients. Our experienced team has an excellent track record of working with various government agencies while protecting clients from employer retaliation.
Track Record of our Excellent Strategic Co-Counsels – Adam Pollock and Steve Cohen
A healthcare provider paid $195 million to settle allegations that the company encouraged physicians to prescribe highly addictive opioid painkillers for unapproved purposes. (The painkillers were approved for cancer patients only, but the company was encouraging prescriptions for non-cancer patients.)
A company paid $500 million to resolve various claims including that it promoted the use of its drug product to physicians who “were writing prescriptions … that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary.”
A healthcare operator paid $48 million to resolve allegations that some patient admissions to its facilities were not medically necessary and that some of its facilities provided inaccurate information to Medicare to maintain their status as “inpatient rehabilitation facilities” – a designation that enabled the operator to earn a higher rate of reimbursement from Medicare.
A major pharma company paid $625 million to resolve allegations that it improperly repackaged potentially contaminated oncology-supportive injectable drugs.
A medical device manufacturer paid $33.2 million to resolve allegations that it sold a materially unreliable testing device that was intended to help doctors and nurses diagnose drug overdoses, assess acute coronary syndrome, and identify other serious conditions
Two of America’s most respected pharmaceutical companies paid more than $233 million to resolve various claims that they set up bogus schemes – including funneling money through a non-profit foundation to pay patients’ co-pays – to improperly inflate the price of drugs paid by Medicare in some cases by as much as 40%.
A major provider of electronic medical records paid $155 million to resolve charges that it misrepresented what its software could do, and then paying kickbacks to customers to promote the product.
A major hospital system paid $731 million to resolve claims that it ordered medical tests that were not necessary, up-coded various charges, and misrepresented its advertising expenses as “community education” in order to get the government to pay for non-reimbursable expenses.
A major drug company paid $2.2 billion to resolve charges that it illegally marketed off-label uses of three drugs.
A major nursing home chain paid $145 million to resolve a complaint that it provided unnecessary rehab services.
The most common types of healthcare fraud include:
billing for services that were never rendered;
performing medically unnecessary services;
misrepresenting treatments not covered by insurance as covered treatments;
falsifying patients’ diagnoses and medical records to justify tests, surgeries or other procedures that aren’t medically necessary; and
“unbundling” or billing for each step of a procedure as if they are separate procedures.
A major university paid $112.5 million to settle allegations that it falsified research data in grant applications.
A major pharmaceutical company paid $3 billion to resolve charges that it illegally promoted nine different prescription drugs, paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the medications, and falsified scientific research and articles.
A company and its subsidiary paid $66 million to resolve claims that the fiber they used to produce their supposedly bullet-proof vests for law enforcement agencies was so weak and defective that it could not stop a bullet 50% of the time.
A company responsible for servicing American Navy ships in foreign ports inflated its invoices, resulting in a $20 million fine.
An aluminum manufacturer paid $34.6 million to resolve claims that it falsified critical testing data about the consistency and reliability of its products, resulting in two failed rocket launches by NASA.
A Kuwaiti company paid $95 million to resolve claims that it overcharged the Department of Defense for the fruits and vegetables it provided to American troops stationed in Iraq.
A major engineering and construction company agreed to pay $125 million to resolve allegations that it provided deficient materials, services, and testing involving nuclear waste.
One of the largest, most-respected accounting firms paid $149 million for failing to properly audit a participant in an important government mortgage program.
A home mortgage company was found liable by a jury for $92 million in damages for issuing improperly issuing mortgages to unqualified applicants who then quickly defaulted on the loans.
One of the largest banks in America – along with two financial institution subsidiaries – agreed to pay $16.65 billion to resolve charges that it engaged in fraudulent practices in the issuance and marketing of collateralized debt obligations involving home mortgages.
Another major bank paid $641 million to settle allegations that it issued FHA and Veterans Affairs insured home loans to people who then defaulted; and the government paid the bank insurance money on mortgages that should never have been approved.
Recent SEC Public Whistleblower Awards:
- SEC Issues Records $114 Million Whistleblower Award – SEC.gov
- SEC Awards $800,000 to Whistleblower – SEC.gov
- SEC Awards Whistleblower Over $900,000 – SEC.gov
- SEC Issues $3.8 Million Whistleblower Award
- SEC Awards Record Payout of Nearly $50 Million to Whistleblower
- SEC Issues $1.8 Million Whistleblower Award to a … – SEC.gov
- SEC Awards Over $27 Million to Whistleblower
- SEC Issues $2.4 Million Whistleblower Award – SEC.gov
- SEC Awards More Than $10 Million to Whistleblower – SEC.gov
- SEC Announces Its Largest-Ever Whistleblower … – SEC.gov
- SEC Awards Over $1.25 Million to Whistleblower – SEC.gov
- SEC Awards Almost $2 Million to Whistleblower – SEC.gov
Recent CFTC Public Whistleblower Awards:
- CFTC Awards Approximately $9 Million to Whistleblower | CFTC
- CFTC Awards Whistleblower for Exposing Ongoing Fraud
- CFTC Awards Whistleblower $250,000 | CFTC
- CFTC Announces Approximately $7 Million Whistleblower Award
- CFTC Announces $6 Million Whistleblower Award | CFTC
- The Whistleblower Protection Programs
- Office of the Whistleblower | SEC.gov
- CFCT’s Whistleblower Program | Whistleblower.gov
- Whistleblower Protection Program – Veterans Affairs
- Whistleblower Protection | Department of Energy
- Whistleblower Protection – Small Business Administration
- Dodd-Frank Wall Street Report and Consumer Protection Act —Congress.gov
- Selected Sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Rights – FDIC.gov
- Whistleblower Program — U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Public Comments on SEC Regulatory Initiatives Under the Dodd-Frank Act – SEC.com
- Whistleblower Protections — SEC.com
- Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act — SEC.gov
- An Overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – The U.S. Department of Justice
- Office of the Whistleblower – SEC.com
- Spotlight on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – SEC.com
- The Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§ 3729) – The U.S. Department of Justice
- Whistleblower Protection — Cornell University