I strongly believe we should continue to provide financial incentives to whistleblowers. These are typically men and women who put their careers and even their personal safety on line for the greater good of the public.
Houston, TX (PRWEB) January 24, 2015
Commenting on a New York Times article that questions the practice of awarding whistleblowers with large payouts, attorney J. Mark Brewer today defended the system of financially compensating people who step forward to sound the alarm about corporate corruption.
The Dec. 30, 2014, Times story is titled “Whistle-Blower Awards Lure Wrongdoers Looking to Score.”
“The whistleblower is entitled under the False Claims Act to sue to collect money fraudulently taken from the government,” said Brewer, founder of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. “I strongly believe we should continue to provide financial incentives to whistleblowers. These are typically men and women who put their careers and even their personal safety on line for the greater good of the public. I’ve worked with whistleblowers and have found that most of them didn’t step forward for the money. They blew the whistle because it was the right thing to do. They end up receiving a small percentage of the total recovery. Without a financial reward, they risk becoming destitute.”
In the Times story, writer Steven Davidoff Solomon compared being a corporate whistleblower to winning the lottery. The Times article states that whistleblowers received $435 million in 2014. In one case involving Bank of America, three whistleblowers shared an additional $170 million.
Citing the Justice Department, the Times article noted that nearly $6 billion was recovered under the False Claims Act. Of that total, $3.1 billion came from banks engaged in fraudulent mortgage practices. Most of the remaining amount of money – $2.3 billion – came from Medicaid and Medicare fraud cases, according to the Times. The newspaper reported that another program for the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal securities fraud also contributed to the “boom in the whistle-blower industry.”
“The large amount of financial recovery related to whistleblower cases cited by the New York Times should come as good news for all citizens,” Brewer said. “By recovering these funds with the help of whistleblowers, the government is holding these corporations accountable. Every whistleblower lawsuit sends a powerful deterrent message to all corporations.”
The New York Times writer cites examples of whistle-blowing rewarding “bad people” – that is, people who engaged in fraudulent activity then reported wrongdoing by the company and received a large financial reward. But, Brewer pointed out, these people typically work in a toxic environment, and they risk prosecution by stepping forward.
Brewer continued: “By and large, whistleblowers are good people who deserve these rewards in part because they may have to give up their careers simply because they did the right thing. Unfortunately, a whistleblower can quickly become a pariah when they in fact should be embraced for their high ethical standards.”
About Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
Serving clients throughout the United States, the attorneys at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. have a well-earned reputation for being knowledgeable, experienced lawyers focused on results. The Houston, Texas-based law firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Medicaid fraud, whistleblower claims, business law, corporate law, mergers, acquisitions and other legal issues. The firm discreetly investigates every case and respects clients’ privacy. Not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
For more information about what to do if you suspect fraud activity at your company and the legal options available to whistleblowers, call 713-209-2950 or complete the online contact form.
Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
3 Riverway #1800
Houston, TX 77056