Resources for Whistleblowers: Places to Start
Becoming a whistleblower can feel overwhelming—as can researching all the possible aspects of your particular situation. Although we try our best at the Louthian Law Firm to distill what you need to know about whistleblowing into a series of articles on our site, sometimes you need to go to the source. Governmental, advocacy, and other web sites can give you the details you need to help you make certain decisions—or provide you with peace of mind. We hope our lists below will assist you in that regard.
On the other hand, perhaps you are someone who has a burning need to know everything you possibly can about whistleblowing and qui tam cases long before you commit yourself to that path. We understand that some people take great comfort in being as fully informed as possible. If that describes you, we hope that our lists below will at least serve as a starting point to supply you with all the information that you are looking for.
Of course, when you think you are ready to explore becoming a whistleblower, we at the Louthian Law Firm will be proud to help you.
Table of Contents (Skip Ahead)
- U.S. Department of Justice Materials
- General Information Web Sites about Federal Whistleblowing and Fraud
- SEC, CFTC, Financial/Banking, and IRS Fraud
- Whistleblower Information Specific to Health Care Fraud
- Military/Department of Defense Contracts Fraud and Whistleblowing
- Miscellaneous Reports of Interest from the Congressional Research Service
- Whistleblower Advocacy and Support
- Closing Thoughts
U.S. Department of Justice Materials
Qui tam whistleblower cases are prosecuted by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is one of the first places you should search when you are looking for general information about the False Claims Act (FCA), qui tam provisions, resolved cases (recoveries), and so forth. Much useful information can be gleaned from the DOJ’s site.
- The Department of Justice’s main web page. Start here to look up anything you believe might be covered on the DOJ’s web site.
- A primer on the False Claims Act. A detailed summary of the FCA—its history and provisions, its awards for relators, and what any bars to qui tam actions might be.
- A brief summary of qui tam litigation. A concise rundown of the qui tam procedural aspects, including the government intervention process.
- Whistleblower rights and protections (includes video). Information regarding your protections and rights as a whistleblower, from the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG-DOJ).
- The DOJ’s press release archive. A searchable archive of DOJ whistleblower actions and other material. If you are looking for information regarding settled cases and recoveries, you can often find a press release about the matter in question. It can be one way to get a feel for how cases are settled, why they are settled, and what the award amounts can be for those who bring the case initially.
General Information Web Sites about Federal Whistleblowing and Fraud
This section covers web sites with information concerning a number of whistleblower fraud areas specific to the False Claims Act (FCA), the 2007 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, government contract rules, and procurement sites, among others. You will also find a listing of the contact information for all current 94 U.S. attorneys.
- A detailed history of the FCA and qui tam statutes. While it was published in 2009, this report can provide the background that data hounds would really like to have regarding qui tam actions and the FCA.
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Your connection to FraudNet, which can help you report fraud, waste, and mismanagement.
- An overview of government contract law. Cornell Law School provides a summary of government contract law along with links to relevant federal statutes and references of interest.
- Information about 2007’s Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). Millions of federal workers have rights and protections through the WPEA that allow them to report government corruption and wrongdoing.
- The Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The OSC investigates whistleblower allegations and improper political actions. It is an independent agency in the executive branch of our government.
- Master listing of federal purchasing and procurement sites. Provides links to many federal departments and agencies that purchase or procure items or services.
- Contact information for all U.S. attorneys. A complete listing of all current 94 U.S. attorneys. Whistleblower cases are handled by U.S. attorneys on behalf of the government.
SEC, CFTC, Financial/Banking, and IRS Fraud
Securities fraud, commodity futures fraud, banking fraud (including mortgage fraud), and tax fraud are not covered under the False Claims Act. While the laws are similar to the FCA’s provisions, these areas of possible fraud and wrongdoing have separate laws and protections. This section provides links to information for whistleblowers and about fraud that involves the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Internal Revenue Service.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fraud manual. The complete document for whistleblowers who wish to report fraud to the SEC.
- The SEC Office of the Whistleblower. If you have knowledge of an SEC violation and are thinking of becoming a whistleblower, this site contains the basic information to get you started.
- U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Whistleblower Program. If you suspect CFTC fraud and are thinking of becoming a whistleblower, this site details what you need to know to start the process.
- The parent web page for the Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act covers a number of areas that concern whistleblowers, including commodities futures fraud and financial institution (banking) fraud, especially mortgage fraud. The Act was put in place after the 2008 financial crash.
- The Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002. SOX contains plenty of protections for corporate whistleblowers. The law arose from the fraud debacles of Enron, Worldcom, and other corporations.
- IRS Whistleblower Program information. If you have tax fraud information, The IRS’s whistleblower site can provide you with information you need to bring a case.
Whistleblower Information Specific to Health Care Fraud
Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE fraud makes up a large percentage of all governmental fraud and therefore whistleblower activity. We have broken out information here regarding the reporting of health care fraud for these three federal programs.
- Parent page of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG-HHS). The HHS is the parent agency of Medicare and Medicaid. This web page is a good place to start when it comes to fraud information and provisions concerning these programs.
- An overview of Medicare law. Cornell Law School provides a summary of Medicare, its restrictions, and what it covers, along with links to relevant federal statutes and references of interest to the Medicare whistleblower.
- An overview of Medicaid law. Cornell Law School provides a summary of Medicaid, its restrictions, and what it covers, along with links to relevant federal statutes and references of interest to the Medicaid whistleblower.
- The main web page of TRICARE. The starting point for information about TRICARE, the military health care program formerly known as CHAMPUS.
- Compliance guidelines from the OIG-HHS. A listing of documents detailing compliance guidelines for many aspects of health care, such as nursing facilities, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, ambulances, and doctors/medical practices.
- National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units. Provides information about a special, national organization dedicated to controlling Medicaid fraud.
- Annual reports on health care fraud and abuse from OIG-HHS. The place to see statistics year-by-year regarding fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The reports begin with the year 1997.
- General information about Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The parent web page for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Fraud Prevention Toolkit. Ways that you can fight fraud in these programs if you or a loved one uses them.
Military/Department of Defense Contracts Fraud and Whistleblowing
The following two links can provide you with a good summary of defense contract whistleblowing and the available protections for contractors who decide to blow the whistle.
- The Department of Defense (DoD) Whistleblower Program. All the details about the DoD whistleblower program and how it operates start on this page, with links to other pages and articles to educate yourself about defense contractor fraud.
- The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013’s (NDAA 2013) federal contractor whistleblower provisions. Details about the special protections added to the law for federal contractors who become whistleblowers.
Miscellaneous Reports of Interest from the Congressional Research Service
The Congressional Research Service has published three reports that might be of interest to anyone wanting to know more in general about whistleblower laws and protections.
- Qui Tam: An Abbreviated Look at the False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes.
- Qui Tam: The False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes.
- Whistleblower Protections Under Federal Law: An Overview.
Whistleblower Advocacy and Support
Here are resources for those who are thinking about blowing the whistle, who are involved in a case, or who just want to know more about the whistleblowing movement.
- The Government Accountability Project (GAP). GAP is one of the granddaddies of the modern whistleblowing movement and is one of the first places you can check for various forms of assistance and moral support.
- The National Whistleblower Center (NWC). The NWC is another older, established organization that is meant to supply the whistleblower with up-to-date information, support, and resources.
- The Project on Government Oversight (POGO). POGO, which promotes transparency, came into being after a series of reports on military waste and fraud in the Eighties. They also run a site that tracks federal spending in order to hold various agencies accountable.
- Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF). A valuable information resource about fraud of all types, along with guidance for FCA, CFTC, SEC, and IRS whistleblowers.
- The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA). A support and information organization for those reporting health care fraud of all varieties.
- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW). A site dedicated to fighting all types of government fraud and waste.
We hope that this list of internet resources will give you some food for thought while filling in any knowledge gaps you might have when it comes to the False Claims Act, qui tam statutes, and related whistleblowing information.
Becoming a whistleblower is a worthy calling, but it can be a challenging path with much to learn. We hope that, should you believe you have actionable information, you will consider contacting the whistleblower lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm.
We use a wide array of tools and strategies when working with whistleblowers.
If you think you have the facts needed to bring a whistleblower case, the experienced whistleblower attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm can review your case and help you file the appropriate disclosure statement. Under some circumstances, the government will intervene, or join in your lawsuit.
Your chances of succeeding are greater if your whistleblower claim is substantive, clear, and to the point. Because of this, meeting with a qualified whistleblower attorney can increase your chances of winning. The Louthian Law Firm can help you form your claim so that the government will be more inclined to intervene in your case; government intervention can sometimes increase the chances of recovering reward money. Even if the government decides not to intervene, it could still be a good idea to pursue your case without government involvement. Our strong support system can assist you through every step of the process.
For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-803-454-1200 or, if you prefer, you can fill out our online contact form.