The False Claims Act was enacted in 1863 to combat widespread fraud by companies selling weapons and other products to the Union Army during the Civil War. It is the foundation of the US whistleblower system and is the statute most often used by whistleblowers to report corporate fraud and misconduct. It allows private citizens to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government and rewards them with a significant portion of any government recovery (from 15-30%). The key factor in determining whether conduct is covered by the False Claims Act is whether it caused the government to suffer a financial loss. For more information on the False Claims Act, and specific examples of the type of fraud or misconduct covered by the act, please click here.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act is the most recent piece of federal whistleblower legislation. It was passed in response to the recent financial meltdown and to prevent further fraud and abuse in the financial markets. Among its sweeping reforms are two whistleblower provisions that went into effect in 2011 to address securities and commodities fraud. For more information on the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, and specific examples of the type of fraud or misconduct covered by the act, please click here.
In addition to the False Claims Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, there are a host of other federal and state whistleblower laws, including specific whistleblower laws covering virtually every industry in the country that impacts public health and safety. For more information on these other key whistleblower laws, please click here.