Consumer Protection

Blowing Whistle on Illegal and Unsafe Conduct Can Bring Big Payday

There are major federal laws which reward those “that blow the whistle” (with 15%-30% of recovery) for reporting fraud and illegal behavior—everything from healthcare billing to contractor kickbacks to environmental fraud. Currently, the penalties that may be imposed against those committing fraud is minimum of $5,000.00 for each violation, plus three times the government’s actual damages.

Here is a story of airline employee which blew the whistle on illegal practices of the airline.

There are protections for blow back and also to protect your identity. There are various programs which exist:

The CFTC program offers the most protection for a whistleblower who wants to remain anonymous. “You can pursue your claim and remain anonymous, even to the government,” says Kohn. Your identity will disclosed only after you’ve qualified for a reward. All the other programs, he says, require that you tell the feds up front who you are. “And because the government knows who you are,” he says, “there’s always a chance your company will find out.” Another big distinction: Under the IRS, SEC and CFTC programs, the government decides if they want to pursue your claim. If they decide not, then your attempt to get a reward ends. You have no legal authority to pursue a claim on your own. Under that False Claims Act, however, even if the Justice Department turns you down, you can continue to pursue your claim in court as a private individual acting on behalf of the government. “The Act empowers the average worker with the same authority as if they were the government of the United States. On paper, it’s the most powerful program of the four,” says Kohn.

Bank of America in $335M settlement over lending discrimination case

According to the Monitor:

Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million to resolve allegations that its Countrywide unit engaged in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers on home loans.