Columbia, South Carolina, False Claims Act Lawyers
Aggressively Representing the Rights of Whistleblowers
A "whistleblower" is a person who brings wrongdoing to the attention of the appropriate government authority. A whistleblower may expose waste, fraud and abuse of government programs. A whistleblower's actions sometimes may result in civil and criminal prosecutions brought by a government authority.
To encourage the discovery of waste and fraud, state and federal statutes provide for rewards to a whistleblower in appropriate cases. At the law office of Proffitt & Cox, we pride ourselves on our ability to handle whistleblower cases on behalf of employees who have reported or are considering reporting the wrongdoing of their employers.
The federal False Claims Act allows a whistleblower to report fraudulent billings to the federal government. The Act was first passed during the Civil War after unscrupulous nineteenth century defense contractors overbilled or provided defective materials, such as rotten army rations or faulty weapons. Claims filed under the Act today typically involve health care, military and other government spending programs.
A whistleblower who reports fraud and waste may receive a portion of any recovered damages, ranging from 15 to 25 percent of the amount recovered. This provision is sometimes called a "qui tam" provision, which is short for the Latin phrase "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur," which means "he who brings a case on behalf of our lord the king as well as for himself."
Federal Investor Protection and Securities Reform Act
The Federal Investor Protection and Securities Reform Act of 2010, passed in the wake of the near meltdown of the nation's finance system in 2008 and 2009, is intended to reward a whistleblower who provides information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to the violation of securities laws by a publicly held company. If requirements are met, a whistleblower may receive from 10 to 30 percent of what the SEC collects in monetary fines or sanctions imposed on the company which exceed $1 million.
In a similar vein, a whistleblower may be rewarded for reporting the underpayment of federal taxes by a person or company, or bringing a tax cheat or other form of tax fraud to the attention of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If requirements are met, a whistleblower may recover as a reward 15 to 30 percent of the amount of collected proceeds, which include the unpaid taxes, penalties and interest owed to the government.
South Carolina Whistleblower Act
The South Carolina Whistleblower Act provides that an employee of a public body such as a city, county, school district or state agency may report wrongdoing, either to the public body or to an appropriate law enforcement or government agency. The reporting employee may receive as a reward up to 25 percent of the estimated net savings resulting from the first year of the implementation of the employee's report, up to a maximum of $2,000. The Act prohibits retaliation against an employee for making such a report made in good faith. A written report must be made within 60 days of the date the reporting employee first learns of the alleged wrongdoing.
Contact a whistleblower lawyer in South Carolina at Proffitt & Cox, LLP, Attorneys at Law, by calling (803) 834-7097 in Columbia, South Carolina, or toll free nationwide (877) 276-0533. You can also complete our contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We are conveniently located in the BB&T building at 8910 Two Notch Road, near I-77 and I-20 in Northeast Columbia.