CBS News Features Chicago Whistleblower Lawyer Michael Behn’s $134 Million Success in Holzrichter v. Northrop Case

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CBS will be airing on July 27, 2018 at 8/7c an episode of their new series Whistleblower, featuring James Holzrichter’s “David v. Goliath” fight against fraud at defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Holzrichter successfully pursued his case through the efforts of Chicago’s whistleblower lawyer Michael Behn, a former federal prosecutor who has dedicated his career to the successful pursuit of fraud reported by whistleblowers.

“Holzrichter’s case is a ‘real life David versus Goliath,” said the whistleblower's lawyer Michael Behn. “Jim fought Northrop’s extraordinary power all the way."

A new CBS show “Whistleblower” will feature the gripping tale of James Holzrichter, a whistleblower represented by Chicago lawyer Michael I. Behn. Holzrichter fought Northrop in a case that lasted more than 16 years, and resulted in Northrop paying $134 million to resolve claims of fraud brought by Holzrichter and pursued by Behn. The Whistleblower episode featuring Holzrichter and Behn will be aired on Friday, July 27, 2018 at 8/7c.

“The CBS Whistleblower piece documents the long journeys of courageous heroes and corporate victims,” said Behn, a former federal prosecutor who has been representing whistleblowers for decades. “It is hosted by Alex Ferrer, a former judge and police officer, and is produced by Emmy-award winning producer Peter Bull. Alex and Peter understand how to tell a whistleblower’s reporting of a fraud to its true victims, the taxpaying public.”

According to the CBS website, “Whistleblower takes a thrilling look into the real-life David vs. Goliath stories of heroic people who put everything on the line in order to expose illegal and often dangerous wrongdoing when major corporations rip off U.S. taxpayers.” Holzrichter’s case against Northrop claimed that company’s Chicago-area facility had cheated the government on contracts to build radar jammers for the B-2 Stealth bomber, the F-15 Eagle fighter and other military aircraft. (U.S. ex rel. Robinson and Holzrichter v. Northrop Grumman, 89 C 6111, N.D. IL)

“Holzrichter’s case is a real life David versus Goliath,” added Behn. “Jim fought Northrop’s extraordinary power to pursue his case to a successful end for the taxpaying public.” Holzrichter partnered with Behn and other lawyers to hold Northrop accountable under a federal law first established by Abraham Lincoln, the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act serves to protect whistleblowers who witness fraud against the government (called “relators”), and incentivizes integrity by providing that successful relators get 15-30% of any recovery by the government.

According to Holzrichter, the cost of pursuing such an action is high, and obtaining great legal representation is the key: “I went from a Fortune 500 company to living in a homeless shelter, but Mike was always there to take my phone calls and was very understanding and supportive.” Behn and Holzrichter's extraordinary partnership was featured in an article by Leading Lawyers magazine. (

Behn specializes in representing whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, and under the SEC, CFTC, and IRS whistleblower provisions to fight securities, futures and tax fraud. He founded the law firm Behn & Wyetzner Chartered to focus on fraud whistleblowers and is of counsel to Siprut PC, both in Chicago. ( and Behn was formerly a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York (Securities and Futures Fraud Unit) and with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Behn & Wyetzner has achieved extensive recoveries for the government and taxpayers through false claims actions brought for whistleblower clients. Recent cases recovered over $120 million in multi-state Medicaid fraud settlements of drug switching allegations against Walgreens, CVS, and Omnicare. All three qui tam whistleblower cases were filed under federal and state False Claims Acts in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, Illinois, docket numbers 03 C 744 (Walgreens), 03 C 742 (CVS) and 01 C 7433 (Omnicare). Behn & Wyetzner also represented the pharmacist whistleblower alleging that Johnson & Johnson paid kickbacks to influence drug selections in nursing homes, which recovered over $170 million (D. Mass. 07 CV 10288-RGS). Other major cases have recovered hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds for fraud in defense contracting and other federally funded industries. (See

Siprut PC has been recognized for its “high-stakes, high-profile cases against large defendants.” Siprut PC was named to the National Law Journal “Hot List” of Plaintiffs’ law firms in 2016, one of only 12 law firms in the United States to receive this distinction. The firm’s primary litigation groups include False Claims Act litigation; plaintiffs’ class action litigation; and intellectual property and patent litigation; and business litigation. Siprut PC has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of plaintiffs in complex litigation, including millions of dollars on behalf of the government in whistleblower actions.

Further details about Behn & Wyetzner, Siprut PC, qui tam actions, relators, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, pharmaceutical and pharmacy fraud, and procurement fraud can be found at and

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