Virginia Government Fraud and Whistleblower Lawyers
CHASENBOSCOLO handles complex government fraud and whistleblower cases for people all across Virginia. We have the right experience, resources, and skill you need on your side, so don’t hesitate to contact us for help right away.
According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program enforces whistleblower provisions of over 20 whistleblower statutes. A whistleblower is a person who reports illegal activity to a law enforcement or other government agency.
Many people are afraid to become whistleblowers for fear of possible retaliation by employers. Others worry about the possible consequences their involvement could have on their professional careers. Some people have justifiable concerns that their own involvement in criminal activity will result in potential criminal charges against them.
If you think that you might have a possible whistleblower claim, you will want to be sure that every one of your actions is extremely cautious. Whistleblower cases are extremely sensitive, and people must make sure that they comply with all court requirements to preserve their cases.
CHASENBOSCOLO is prepared to assist people all over Virginia with all kinds of whistleblower claims. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Do I Need A Government Fraud and Whistleblower Lawyer?
Whistleblower actions often become qui tam lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act. In such cases, whistleblowers can be rewarded if the government recovers lost funds.
A qui tam claim becomes more complicated when a government agency amends a complaint or files a new complaint, and you will want to an attorney for assistance with common whistleblower issues. One important consideration is the “First to File” rule, which provides that a qui tam whistleblower must be the first whistleblower to file suit or their action may be barred.
A lawyer can immediately commence an independent investigation of your case to determine the specific type of illegal activity involved as well as preserve key evidence. An attorney can ensure that all of your required filings are handled appropriately and on time.
While legal representation is not required in IRS fraud cases, it is required for a qui tam lawsuit. You do not want to handle a case of this nature by yourself.
Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle My Case?
CHASENBOSCOLO has mad taking care of our clients a first and foremost priority ever since we were founded in 1986. Since then, we have grown to now become a team of 25 attorneys and more than 90 professionals with over 100 years of combined legal experience.
Barry M. Chasen has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating denoting the highest level of professional excellence. He was named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers in 2013.
Benjamin T. Boscolo has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the American Association for Justice.
CHASENBOSCOLO offers the No Fee Guarantee® so you pay us absolutely nothing unless you receive a monetary award. We will not be afraid to file a lawsuit when settlement negotiations do not appear to be producing an acceptable offer.
Types of Government Fraud and Whistleblower Cases We Handle
Several whistleblower claims relate to federal laws whistleblower protections are provided by federal statutes. Virginia state law also provides whistleblower protections.
Federal acts containing whistleblower protections include the Water Pollution Control Act, Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Toxic Substance Control Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Energy Reorganization Act. Whistleblower protections are also afforded to members of the military.
Virginia Code § 2.2-3011 establishes that an employer cannot discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a whistleblower, whether they are acting on their own, through a person acting on their behalf or under their direction, or as requested or subpoenaed by an appropriate authority. An employer who is found to be in willful and knowing violation of the statute can face civil penalties of up to $2,500.
Virginia Code § 2.2-3012 also provides remedies that can include recovery of at least $5,000 may file a claim for a reward under the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund. Additionally, a court could also order other remedies such as reinstatement to the same position or an equivalent position, back pay, and full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Qui tam actions can be filed confidentially under seal in federal district court in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and a case is under seal usually means the information involved is sensitive. You can only discuss your case with your attorney and the Department of Justice when your case is under seal. People who discuss their cases while the cases are under seal can damage the cases and forfeit potential awards. Whistleblower can remain anonymous while cases are under seal, the identities of whistleblowers are often revealed when the case concludes and becomes public record.
A person’s participation in the illegal activity involved in a whistleblower case does not necessarily prohibit them from collecting an award. The government frequently needs these exact people to be the ones who come forward. Awards could be reduced depending on the amount the person participated or directed a scheme as well as the harm that was caused, but a person is only ineligible for an award in their whistleblower case if they were the actual mastermind of a criminal plot or are convicted of a crime stemming from their report
Whistleblower Claims Statistics
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported in its 2017 Annual Report to Congress about the Whistleblower Program that in fiscal year 2017, the agency ordered whistleblower awards totaling nearly $50 million for a dozen individuals. The program has awarded about $160 million in whistleblower awards to 46 individuals since 2012.
The top 10 whistleblower awards according to the SEC were $30 million in September 2014, $22 million in August 2016, $20 million in November 2016, $17 million in June 2016, $14 million in September 2013, $7 million in January 2017, $5.5 million in January 2017, $5-$6 million in May 2016, $4 million in September 2016, and $3.5 million in May 2016.
Whistleblower Protection Program investigation data showed 3,303 cases were received in 2017. It was the second only to the 3,355 cases reported in 2016 for the 10-year period.
For 2017, 1,932 related to OSHA, 20 cases received related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 424 related to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), 293 related to the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), 186 related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), 106 related to the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21), 90 related to the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), 74 related to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), 59 related to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 53 related to the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 22 related to the National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA), 13 related to the Seaman’s Protection Act (SPA), 12 related to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), seven related to the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA), seven related to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and five related to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)
In 2017, 1,876 of the cases completed related to OSHA, 487 related to the STAA, 315 related to the FRSA, 200 related to the SOX, 109 related to the AIR21, 89 related to the CFPA, 70 related to the EPA, 66 related to the FSMA, 47 related to the ERA, 31 related to the ACA, 19 related to the NTSSA, 10 related to the SPA, eight related to the PSIA, eight related to the CPSIA, seven related to the MAP-21, and six related to the AHERA.
According to Whistleblower Protection Program investigation data, 3.432 determinations were made in cases in 2017 and 1,688 cases were dismissed, 809 were withdrawn, 409 were settled, 388 were settled otherwise, 89 were kicked out, and 49 complaints had merit.
Contact a Government Fraud and Whistleblower Attorney in Virginia
Do you think that you might have a possible whistleblower claim regarding illegal government activity in Virginia? Make sure to retain legal counsel so you can take advantage of all of the unique protections available to you.
CHASENBOSCOLO assists whistleblowers throughout Virginia and fights to achieve the most successful resolutions to these cases that deliver maximum awards. Call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.