Florida Whistleblower Lawyer
The Pendas Law Firm is here to assist you if you feel your company is defrauding a government agency. An employee (Whistle-blower) who has personal knowledge that their employer is doing something wrong or illegal can sue on behalf of the government and be paid a percentage of the recovery. Contact our Florida whistleblower lawyers now, we have offices in Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami.
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You, as a whistle-blower, are entitled to an award for turning in an employer defrauding the government. Typically, you could be entitled to 15-25 percent of the funds recovered by the government. For example, in 2010 the drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline paid $750 million to settle a lawsuit against it because an employee claimed it was selling drugs with questionable safety. The whistleblowing employee in that case was a quality control manager and received a $96 million reward.
The False Claims Act not only rewards whistle-blowers like you, but is about preventing and discouraging fraud in corporate America. The False Claims Act is one of the most important tools taxpayers have to directly end government waste and corporate abuse.
Defrauding the government might include:
- IRS Fraud/Tax Evasion — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has their own Whistleblower Office. In 2015 the office collected $501,317,481 from their program and awarded $103,486,677 to whistleblowers for providing specific and credible information about those who may be evading paying taxes to the government. There are two types of awards. One exists for cases where the individual has a gross income over $200,000 or the taxes in dispute equate to over $2 million. The second award program exists for smaller cases and while the awards are smaller, they can still be significant because the award program pays a percentage of the amount collected by IRS from the non-compliant taxpayer.
- Overbilling Medicare/Medicaid — Similar to cases of tax evasion, you must have specific and credible evidence before reporting overbilling to the Office of the Inspector General. If you are unsure of your billing statement you can always call the billing department to see if there was a mistake. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services some of the common fraud scenarios are when the doctor’s office bills non-existing clients, bills for services not provided, or bills for more hours than the office is open for in the day.
- TARP Funds Fraud — TARP stands for Troubled Assets Relief Fund. This fund allows the U.S. Treasury to buy out assets from institutions in order to create a more stable financial market. Some industries that TARP has helped are the auto industry, banking institutions, credit markets, and insurance providers. Since the program was enacted in 2008, there have been several cases of fraud where the companies receiving the financial assistance are not using the money as intended or where the companies’ employees are taking cuts of the money meant for bailout. Many of these cases are investigated because whistleblowers have spoken up. The federal law enforcement agency that investigates TARP funds fraud is the Office of the Special Investigator General for the Troubled Assets Relief Fund.
- Failing to pay overtime benefits when they are due — This is a case of wage theft. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act defined the forty hour work week and required employers to pay overtime wages for certain jobs. If you are unsure whether or not your job is one that is entitled to overtime, contact The Pendas Law Firm and we can help determine if your employer is withholding wages from you and your coworkers. You may have the opportunity to be awarded money for reporting this type of fraud.
- Defense Contract Overcharging — If you work for, or have previously worked for, a company that contracts with the Department of Defense (DOD) and know that the company was not being truthful we can help you file a claim. This type of fraud can occur when a company bills the DOD for time not actually spent on the job or when the company secretly provides substandard equipment in order to save money and boost their own profits.
- Aerospace Contract Overcharging — This type of fraud is identical to Defense Contact Overcharging but instead it is committed within the aerospace industry. Providing substandard quality products and service can endanger people’s lives and should be taken very seriously. Should you be aware of fraud within the aerospace industry you should be in contact with an experienced lawyer who can help you report the violations and then make sure you are awarded for doing so.
- Pharmaceutical/Health Care Fraud — Healthcare and pharmaceutical fraud is extensive. Companies can commit fraud by marketing drugs not approved by the FDA, by providing gifts to medical providers who use or prescribe their products, and more. These cases tend to be settled for large amounts of money, which means the whistleblower responsible for reporting the case to the government will also receive a large award.
Contact our Experienced Florida Whistleblower Lawyers Today
There are any number of ways that an employer can be defrauding the government. If you learn that your employer is over-billing the U.S. government on any contract for goods or services, contact us immediately. The Pendas Law Firm will work with you to ensure you receive the rewards and protections for choosing not to tolerate your employer’s violations, contact our Florida whistleblower lawyers, with offices in Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami.