Whistleblowers play a vital role in our society. They point out fraud and help stop corruption that costs taxpayers significant sums of money. It’s easy to see why whistleblowers are seen as providing a public service. In cases where fraud is being perpetrated against the government (and, by extension, the people), whistleblowers seek justice through what is known as a “qui tam suit.” Qui tam cases have helped the gov...
Some philosophers believe that people act only in their own self-interest—that altruism doesn’t really exist. If a person believes such a thing, how does one explain the actions of people who become whistleblowers? We’re not trying to start an argument here, nor are we philosophers by nature. But it does make you wonder: Why do so many people endure hardship to become whistleblowers? What is their motivation? We have ...
Every year, our government spends trillions of dollars on our national defense, on our health care safety net, and on public works. Billions more are spent enforcing regulations meant to curtail fraud and general wrongdoing, not only in these areas, but also in the prevention of financial and securities fraud. All of these areas are ripe for a particular variety of fraud known as a kickback. Because kickbacks can take many ...
What motivates a person to do the right thing in the face of opposition? How do people know which path to take when faced with a conflict of interest? These questions are the subject of philosophical debates, timeless works of fiction and endless scientific research. We often ask ourselves how we might respond to an ethical conundrum. If you’ve ever taken an ethics course, then you’ve probably mulled over hypothetical sit...

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