by Brian Mahany
According to a recent and well respected study conducted by Fulbright & Jaworski, corporate general counsels are bracing for a record number of whistleblower complaints this year. In 2010 and 2011, 22% of the respondents said they had faced allegations brought by a whistleblower. That number increased by a third to 29% last year and is expected to rise again this year.
The survey is conducted annually by Fulbright & Jaworski, an international law firm headquartered in Houston.
According to their data, engineering and construction firms top the list of firms with whistleblower complaints (50%), followed by healthcare (37%), manufacturing (33%), technology (29%) and energy (27%). That was rather startling to us since much of what we see is in the banking and mortgage lending arena.
Although helpful, raw data alone doesn’t tell the complete story. We believe there has been a steady uptick in whistleblower complaints since the financial meltdown in 2007 and 2008. Americans are getting tired of corporate greed and corruption and more and more are standing up and making their voices heard.
The revamped IRS whistleblower program and new SEC program have also helped. Although most whistleblowers we represent don’t come forward for the money, getting a check for their efforts certainly doesn’t hurt.
A big factor in the increase is the emergence of advocacy groups such as whistlewatch.org and the Government Accountability Project. Before these groups were formed, whistleblowers felt alone, isolated and had nowhere to turn. When some employers retaliate, the advocacy groups have also been there to steer victims to competent legal help and make sure state and federal agencies take their complaints seriously.
On many days I am discouraged that some agencies and corporations still aren’t taking whistleblowers as seriously as they should. The Fulbright study, however, reveals that corporate lawyers take them very seriously.
There are many types of whistleblowers and not all government programs pay cash awards. We represent individuals whose claims or information relate to losses to the government and taxpayers. If a company has defrauded the government, written bad loans guaranteed by the government, ripped off Medicare or engaged in similar conduct, give us a call. False claims cases do pay substantial cash awards.
For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany. Our whistleblower lawyers are involved in a wide variety of cases from cases against hospitals to major banks and mortgage lenders. Brian can be reached at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct). All calls are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept in strict confidence.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California. Fraud recovery available in many jurisdictions.
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