Why come forward as a Whistleblower?
I’m often asked, why come forward as a whistleblower? Because the Department of Justice can’t fight fraud alone. It needs individuals inside companies with knowledge of what’s going on—people who are trying to “do the right thing”—to share information with the Justice Department. The opioid crisis is a good example. DOJ needs to hear from whistleblowers with knowledge of wrongdoing who work for health care providers, labs, rehab clinics, drug insurance plans, pharmacy benefits managers (PBMSs), and pharmacies. The Justice Department has made opioid fraud one of its enforcement priorities. Another example is Medicare fraud of every variety. In a single recent year nearly $90 Billion Medicare and Medicaid dollars were misspent. That number increases every year. There’s a lot of misspent dollars to be recovered on behalf of taxpayers. And, there are retaliation protections for whistleblowers who help the Justice Department and potential rewards under the False Claims Act. And, you could receive a percentage of a recovery.
“Doing the right thing” requires a certain amount of what I would call “sustained and healthy anger” directed at the wrongdoer. New York Times-best selling author Tom Mueller reminds of this in a Washington Post article and a book he’s written called“Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud. From my experience at the Justice Department, unchecked corporate power is what usually lies behind bad acts. Anyone working in the corporate world can be an effective whistleblower, regardless of their pay grade. We all have eyes and ears. The False Claims Act is successful because of whistleblowers who are often not corporate-level executives but rather the “boots on the ground.”