The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, two government agencies that regulate the U.S. financial market, have whistleblower programs that incentivize individuals to report violations of federal securities laws, or “financial fraud.”
Financial fraud can come in many forms, ranging from faulty accounting systems to paying bribes to foreign governments to gain business. These agencies will pay rewards to individuals who report financial fraud. The Internal Revenue Service has a similar whistleblower program that incentivizes individuals to report tax fraud, including diverting or underreporting income; gaming payroll taxes; and tax return preparer fraud. In many cases, the fraud need not take place on U.S. soil or even by/on behalf of a U.S.-based company. The government will reward you for coming forward if your information proves valuable.
Dishonest facilities and providers defraud important government-sponsored healthcare programs like Medicare, TRICARE and Medicaid to the tune of billions of dollars every year. This fraud can take many forms, ranging from single office healthcare providers overbilling for services rendered to the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies bribing doctors to prescribe their drugs. The False Claims Act is a federal law under which the government prosecutes individuals and companies that defraud government spending programs, like those listed here. Central to the False Claims Act is its qui tam provisions, which entitle the individual who reports the fraud to the government via a whistleblower lawsuit to 15-30% of the amount the government recovers.
The fraud, waste and abuse associated with contracts between government agencies (Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Energy, etc.) and private sector companies costs taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Far too many companies bill for goods or services not provided or that do not meet specifications, falsify data to hide problems with deliverables and/or pay kickbacks or bribes to gain or retain government contracts. As with healthcare fraud, U.S. federal law provides for rewards to individuals who report government contract fraud through whistleblower cases. These awards can range from 15-30% of the amount the government recovers.
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