Can Whistleblowers Remain Anonymous?

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    March 25 2019

    If you are thinking about reporting an act of wrongdoing, this requires an act of courage.  Potential whistleblowers are often hesitant to speak out for fear of retaliation.  

    Retaliating against a whistleblower is illegal.  Even so, deciding to report the wrongdoing of supervisors or other parties who are in a position to harm you can be intimidating.

    Many people who are thinking of coming forward to report fraud or other wrongdoing would like to know if they can remain an anonymous whistleblower and if they are protected by any whistleblower laws.

    Whistleblower Protection

    Whether the identity of the whistleblower is revealed depends on whether the whistleblower is reporting on the government or a private company and what that company’s policy is.

    For government-related wrongdoing in the United States, the False Claims Act (FCA) protects the whistleblower’s identity at first.  However, as the whistleblower case proceeds, the whistleblower’s identity will eventually be released.

    Some private companies have whistleblower programs that protect their workers that come forward with whistleblower claims; however, such programs are not required by law.

    Common Whistleblower Cases in Nevada

    In Nevada, whistleblowers are common in the following areas:

    • Healthcare fraud – Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare companies are subject to fraud.  There are over 2,000 of these types of whistleblower cases each year. There has been over $700 million recovered in Medicare fraud cases alone.  
    • Tax and mortgage fraud – Each year there are an estimated $70 billion in unpaid corporate taxes.  Many times, these unpaid taxes are the result of fraudulent mortgages.
    • Securities fraud – The SEC whistleblower program issues awards to whistleblowers that provide information that leads to penalties in excess of $1 million.  The Securities and Exchange Commission allows its whistleblowers to submit tips anonymously; however, it may share the whistleblower’s information with another government agency such as the Department of Justice if there has been a Foreign Corrupt Practice Act violation.
    • Nevada “qui tam” lawsuits – Nevada law governing the submission of false claims to state or local governments allows whistleblowers to file qui tam lawsuits if they know of violations of state law.  Nevada law imposes liability on persons who knowingly present false or fraudulent claims to the state or local government to claim payments, misappropriate state property, or avoid obligations to pay the state.

    How We Can Help

    Potential whistleblowers shouldn’t have to go through this stressful time alone.  Whether you are thinking of reporting wrongdoing at a company, corporation, or government agency, you should have an experienced whistleblower attorney on your side to walk you through the process, protect your rights, and help you get a percentage of the penalty that the company, corporation, or government agency has to pay.

    Usually a whistleblower complaint is brought under the False Claims Act.  This is a federal whistleblower protection act that exists to encourage whistleblowing and protect the whistleblowers.

    Experienced Employment Law Attorneys

    At Anthem Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience advocating for employee rights.  If you would like to consult with an experienced Employment Law Attorney about an issue that you’re having in the workplace, you should contact our office today for a Free Case Evaluation.  We can be reached at (702) 857-6000.

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