CHICAGO (PRWEB) September 25, 2018
A whistleblower and lawyer featured by CBS News just released a series of YouTube videos designed to help other whistleblowers report fraud. On July 27, 2018, the CBS Whistleblower series featured 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. Watch the show at http://www.bit.ly/BehnLawyerOnCBS.
Behn and Holzrichter sat down recently to discuss their experiences during the Northrop case and their thoughts on whistleblowing. The resulting YouTube series covers topics all potential whistleblowers should know: how to find an attorney, how to help the government investigate your case, and how to prepare for a deposition.
In the first episode, Behn and Holzrichter discuss what it means to be a whistleblower and how the public perceives whistleblowers. Watch it at http://www.bit.ly/WhistleblowersInPublic. In the second episode, they discuss preparing for whistleblower depositions. Watch it at http://www.bit.ly/DepPrep.
“Jim tells it like it is, because he’s been there,” said Behn, a former federal prosecutor who has been representing whistleblowers for decades. 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, 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 report 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, available at http://www.bit.ly/BehnForWhistleblowers
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. 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. He founded the law firm Behn & Wyetzner Chartered to focus on combatting fraud and advocating on behalf of whistleblowers (http://www.BehnWyetzner.com). Behn is of counsel to Siprut PC (http://www.Siprut.com).
Behn & Wyetzner, Chtd. 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, Chtd. 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. (For more information, visit: http://www.bit.ly/BehnWhistleblowersWin.)
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, Chtd., Siprut PC, qui tam actions, relators, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, pharmaceutical and pharmacy fraud, and procurement fraud can be found at http://www.BehnWyetzner.com and http://www.Siprut.com.