If you have knowledge of fraud being perpetrated against the federal government, you may be reluctant to file a whistleblower qui tam claim. You may feel powerless and that your qui tam claim won’t change anything. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are many areas of whistleblower areas where it may be difficult to measure an impact, such as whistleblowers who expose violations of environmental or mine safety regulations, but claims made under the False Claims Act (FCA) are tracked by the Department of Justice. The DOJ statistics reveal that whistleblowing is a powerful tool that can hold wrongdoers accountable. From 1987 to 2013, the following whistleblower recoveries have been obtained:
These are substantial sums and demonstrate how whistleblowers can put a halt to fraudulent practices. Below are some examples of funds recovered for taxpayers due to the heroic actions of whistleblowers:
The above recoveries primarily took place just within the last year. The list of headline-grabbing whistleblower recoveries is almost endless: Hospital Corporation of America ($840 million for taxpayers); Abbott Labs ($400 million); GlaxoSmithKline ($750 million); Pfizer ($2.3 billion); Purdue Frederick Co. ($634.5 million for misbranding Oxycontin); Merck ($650 million); Tenet Healthcare ($900 million).
Since 1987, $27.2 billion has been recovered due to the actions of whistleblower-initiated False Claims Act claims. Whistleblowers have been paid $4.272 billion in rewards for their help in stamping out fraud. None of the substantial awards paid to whistleblowers are financed by taxpayers. The fraudulent government contractor, healthcare company, or other corporation that engaged in the illegal behavior had to pay the bill.
Large awards for whistleblowers act as an incentive for employees to blow the whistle on fraudulent behavior and for companies to ensure compliance with the law. These whistleblowers risked their reputation and careers to serve the public interest.
Enormous funds recovered under the False Claims Act make waves throughout industries and companies. Whistleblower claims can shake up corporations and change the way they do business. Although whistleblowers can change practices that are hard to measure, claims made under the FCA are tracked and measured in sums of money. Whistleblower claims have had an enormous impact and will continue to hold reckless and irresponsible companies accountable.