If you suspect that your company is defrauding the government — and thereby, you, the taxpayer — you may be wondering what on earth you should do with the information you have.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
You’ve been working for your employer for a while now, and something isn’t quite adding up. Maybe they’re purposely muddling research results, or selling something harmful to consumers, or billing something they shouldn’t be billing to a patient’s insurance. Now you’re wondering what you may have gotten yourself into. You’re shocked and angry. You may even be afraid. You want to say something. You’re going to say something.
But you’re not sure how and where to start.
Should you talk to your supervisor or coworker? Should you try to collect evidence before you contact a NC whistleblower attorney? Or should you see an attorney first?
Here’s our advice:
DON’T Speak to Anyone (Except an Attorney) Initially
Most workplaces have protocols for reporting workplace concerns, but it’s possible your employer and fellow coworkers may already have some knowledge of the fraud. Your employer may even have sanctioned it. With so many unknowns, if you speak to coworkers or your employer first, you could suddenly find yourself demoted, harassed, blacklisted — even fired.
Although there are provisions protecting you from retaliation, specifically Section 3730(h) of the False Claims Act, an unethical workplace probably wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of you and disguise the reason if there’s a possibility you could be a liability to their bottom line. That makes it exponentially more difficult to collect the evidence you need to try to prove the wrongdoing and be .
Also, if you ultimately pursue a whistleblower (qui tam) lawsuit, they are filed under seal, which means that information is not made public. And while it is under government seal, you are not allowed to discuss your allegation with anyone else except your whistleblower attorney. The information you provide is kept sealed until the federal government has had a chance to investigate and decide whether or not they will intervene. The court may then order the seal to be lifted, but not before the government investigates.
DO Contact a North Carolina Whistleblower Attorney Who’s Handled Qui Tam Claims Before
An attorney can help you act quickly to determine if it is in your best interest to pursue a case under the False Claims Act.
But which attorney you select is very important. You may be surprised to learn that very few attorneys in the state of North Carolina have actually handled a qui tam or “whistleblower” lawsuits. (That’s one reason we’re so fortunate to have Gary Jackson, and his vast experience on staff.)
Having an experienced NC whistleblower attorney who understands your job, the industry, the laws, and the kind of fraud that you want to expose may be crucial to your claim’s success.
Other benefits to speaking to an attorney with experience in qui tam claims:
- There are several different whistleblower programs, depending on the industry. Your lawyer should be able to tell you whether a program exists to protect you from the potential blowback.
- They can advise you on what evidence to collect, and how to go about collecting that evidence in a legal manner. The last thing you want is to have your case dismissed because of improper or illegal procedures on your part.
- Whistleblower attorneys know how to extricate the facts necessary for a strong case, and can strategize with you about your next steps.
DON’T Delay! Whoever Files First Wins
Lastly, do not wait too long to speak to an attorney. You might have an excellent case that’s worth millions or billions to the government, and millions to you, but if someone else files first or you miss the filing deadline or Statute of Limitations, it can be worth nothing.
A qui tam lawsuit can be dismissed or compromised if it is not the first one to make the allegations or if information about the fraud becomes public before your case is filed. Our North Carolina whistleblower attorneys will let you know the appropriate deadline for your claim, and try to ensure that you don’t miss this opportunity to do your duty to your country.
As you read this, you may be feeling conflicted. We understand that. Maybe you’re afraid of what might lie ahead if you expose fraud in your workplace or industry. When you work with us, you will get the advice and direction you need to do the right thing — one step at a time.
Contact a NC Whistleblower Attorney
In an era when the truth is often concealed and controlled by gatekeepers with their own agenda, crimes against the American taxpayer and the government can often only be revealed by courageous whistleblowers. If you have information about wrongdoing in any industry, let’s talk.
Our North Carolina whistleblower attorneys have offices in Charlotte, Durham, the Research Triangle, Raleigh, Asheville, Greensboro, Greenville, New Bern, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Henderson, Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount, Sanford, Wilson, and Winston-Salem. No matter where you are in North Carolina, our experienced legal team will guide and advise you every step of the way. To schedule a confidential, free case evaluation, please contact us or call 1-844-520-2889 today. Don’t delay!