Constantine Cannon Attorneys Call on Whistleblowers to Help Guard the Floodgates of Fraud
No matter how dire the issues facing the country, whenever the government hangs out a sign advertising free money, it invites rampant fraud. News stories already abound of fraudsters preying on coronavirus fears, and the massive stimulus expenditures by the federal government, necessary as they are, will require enormous oversight to prevent fraudulent claims.
With the government injecting $2 trillion into the economy, there will be opportunists seeking to get a piece of the pot, even if they do not qualify. That is deplorable, given how desperately the stimulus money is needed by those it is meant to help. It is also fraud on the government. As a result, these stimulus predators are liable for treble damages and penalties under the False Claims Act. The difficulty will be in identifying and holding liable those who defraud the country at a time of crisis.
As Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyers Gordon Schnell and Max Voldman explain in an op-ed, whistleblowers have a key role to play in bringing this fraud to the attention of overtaxed government enforcement agencies. They have information available to no one else and can root out fraud that otherwise would escape detection.
The False Claims Act was designed to incentivize this partnership between the government and concerned citizens, and it is incredibly successful at doing so. Its success depends on the willingness of brave individuals to come forward with information about fraud, even in the midst of hard times, so it provides for awards of 15-30% of the government’s recovery in a successful case to encourage those with important information to speak up.
With the headline grabbing government expenditures, the Department of Justice will be eagerly awaiting tips from anyone aware of fraud in connection with claiming stimulus funds.
- COVID-19 Fraud
- How to Report Fraud Under the False Claims Act
- What is an IG and Why do IGs Matter to Whistleblowers and in the COVID-19 Response?
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