Ogborn Mihm’s whistleblower and Qui Tam attorneys represent clients in Colorado, California, and throughout the nation. Whistleblowers are “persons of conscience” who shine a light on illegal or fraudulent conduct. Without such courageous people many large scandals would never be discovered. To support them, our society and government provide encouragement for whistleblowers through Qui Tam Reward Programs and protection for whistleblowers from retaliation.
Someone who reports information relating to a fraud on the government, shareholders, or banks, may qualify for an award under statutes such as the False Claims Act or the Dodd-Frank Act. Further, individuals who become whistleblowers may be protected from retaliation under a number of statutes, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act. Have you been retaliated against because you reported illegal conduct? Are you thinking about reporting illegal conduct? To receive a free consultation from an attorney at Ogborn Mihm, fill out our case review form.
Whistleblower Retaliation Claims
Whistleblowers often suffer retaliation when they report the illegal, unethical, fraudulent, or improper conduct of others. Given the important role that whistleblowers play in our society, there are many state and federal statutes that contain anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers. Ogborn Mihm handles cases involving all types of whistleblower retaliation, including those involving:
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- The False Claims Act
- The Consumer Financial Protection Act
- The IRS Whistleblower Program
- Government Contractors
- Exercise of First Amendment Rights
- Medical Workers Who Report Safety or Care Concerns
- Reporting Discrimination or Harassment
- Environmental Whistleblowers
- Transportation Safety Whistleblowers
False Claims Act Qui Tam Claims
The federal government, and many states, have enacted False Claims Acts that permit Relators, those that bring a lawsuit, to step into the shoes of the government in a Qui Tam lawsuit and prosecute those who defraud the government, or cause others to do so. If a Relator is successful, they are entitled to a percentage of the funds recovered. There are strict procedural requirements in order for a Relator to qualify for an award. Ogborn Mihm’s whistleblower attorneys represent Relators in Qui Tam lawsuits and counsel those contemplating whistleblowing through the process.
Other Whistleblower Reward Statutes
The Dodd-Frank Act contains a “bounty” provision for whistleblowers who report violations of securities rules or statutes to the SEC or violations of commodities trading laws to the CFTC. They may collect a percentage of the government’s recovery. The IRS Whistleblower Program allows whistleblowers who report violations of tax laws to recover a percentage of the recovery as well. Under statutes known as FIRREA & FIAFEA a whistleblower who reports bank fraud may also collect part of the recovery. The lawyers at Ogborn Mihm represent whistleblowers who wish to report information under such statutes.
Unique Whistleblower Issues
Whistleblowers often face unique issues. For instance, many are professionals who owe an ethical, contractual, fiduciary, or other duty to the company they are suing. In such circumstances, there is a minefield of issues to address before a complaint ever gets filed. Similarly, whistleblowers often retain and collect documents and information necessary to prove their claims. This can result in defenses and counterclaims from the defendant and attempts to intimidate the whistleblower and scare them away from pursuing their claims. The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm have experience dealing with the issues whistleblowers face.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act Retaliation:
The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm represented a medical device company executive in his whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the CEO of his former employer, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Our client had internally blown the whistle on violations of SEC rules and the CEO’s involvement in insider trading and stock price manipulation, and was terminated three weeks later. After achieving a precedent-setting win in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, we were able to get a favorable resolution for our client.
Defrauding Government Mortgage Programs:
The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm represented a whistleblower in his Qui Tam and retaliation lawsuit alleging that a mortgage company had made false certifications to the government in order to get payments and loan guarantees through a government program. We were able to resolve the case just days before trial.
General Counsel as Whistleblower:
The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm represented the former General Counsel of a large international company in his retaliation, wrongful discharge, luring, and fraud claims. We successfully navigated a complex web of ethical and contractual issues and achieved a favorable settlement just days before trial.
In-House Attorney Whistleblower:
The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm represented an in-house attorney who blew-the-whistle on wire fraud, bank fraud, and violations of securities statutes. We were able to rebuff and reject the defendant’s arguments relating to the applicable ethical standards and achieve a favorable resolution without even filing a lawsuit.