Foreign nationals with information about fraud can be eligible for U.S. whistleblower awards. Seasoned whistleblower attorney BRIAN MAHANY explains the basics of foreign whistleblower legislation and how to file a claim and receive an award.
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By Brian Mahany, Whistleblower Attorney
Can non-US citizens collect whistleblower rewards? We hear that question constantly. The answer is yes!
The United States is one of the few countries that pays whistleblowers for stepping forward and reporting fraud involving government programs, tax fraud, bank fraud, foreign bribery, money laundering and securities fraud. No other country in the world can make that claim.
In passing all of the major whistleblower reward laws, Congress had one thing in mind. Rooting out corruption and fraud. And we don’t discriminate where you are from or whether or not you are a citizen. Green card holder? Citizen or resident of a foreign country? It doesn’t matter.
If you have original information about fraud, Uncle Sam [the United States government] wants to know and in many instances, you are entitled to a large cash reward for stepping forward and blowing the whistle. Over 2000 foreign nationals have applied for rewards since 2011 and the United States government has paid out $100 million to foreign nationals.
Take for example Dinesh Thakur. A citizen of India, Mr. Thakur received $48 million for reporting unsafe pharmaceuticals manufactured in India but dispensed in the United States.
Because most prescription drugs sold are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, selling adulterated drugs in the United States is not only harmful to patients, it also hurts taxpayers.
Let’s talk about some other examples. An oil worker in Argentina who is aware of bribes being by a U.S. company hoping to get favorable treatment from Argentine regulators is eligible for a reward under the SEC Whistleblower Program.
A banker in Cyprus with knowledge of money laundering may also be eligible for a reward assuming there is some connection with the United States.
The only thing foreign whistleblowers might not receive is protection from retaliation. That is because American courts have limited jurisdiction over foreign companies or behavior that occurs outside the United States. Foreign whistleblowers are still eligible to receive cash rewards but traditional anti-retaliation laws are not enforceable outside the United States unless the wrongdoer is an American company.
If you have information about fraud or corruption, give us a call. The call is free, there is no fee for a consultation and in most cases your case can be handled on a contingency or “success” fee basis meaning we don’t get paid unless you do.
All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and are kept strictly confidential.
To see if you have a case or to learn more, contact our Foreign Whistleblower Claim Center. We can be reached through our website www.mahanylaw.com or by phone at +1 202-800-9791.