Sometimes, employees discover that their employer is engaging in illegal practices, such as fraud. This can put the employee in a complicated position in which he or she must decide what to do with this knowledge.
The federal government has a program to help employees who suspect their employer is committing fraud that harms the government. If you suspect your employer is committing fraud and you want to know how to proceed in terms of properly reporting this suspicion, here is some information that can help guide you.
Examples of suspected fraud
When you discover activities at your workplace that you believe are fraudulent and could be damaging the government or a corporation, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Some of these cases are quite straightforward, such as when an employer blatantly evades taxes or knowingly provides defective or shoddy products or materials in order to cut costs, save money or make a bigger profit. Other cases can be less overt, however, such as misrepresentation of a product. The federal government's False Claims Act protects whistleblowers who help the government recover damages for these illegal acts. In 2017, the industry that saw the highest False Claims Act recoveries was the health care industry, with 67 percent of the overall share in recoveries, followed by housing and mortgage fraud and military contractors.
How to report suspected fraud
Under the False Claims Act, the federal government allows individuals who file qui tam, or whistleblower, claims to receive up to 30 percent of the money recovered. You do not have to fear for your job because the government provides protection against employer retaliation. However, these cases can be complex, and in order to proceed, you should contact a whistleblower attorney for assistance. An attorney can help guide you through the process of filing your claim, as well as assess the specifics of your case to advise you on how to properly proceed.