Notable Tax Fraud Whistleblowers
Qui tam is a specific type of law terminology associated with the current whistleblower protection laws and policies. These laws are currently in place to protect employees after they blow the whistle on a company or corporation’s tax fraud. These laws are important for maintaining a certain level of protection so individuals are not completely discouraged from informing the government of tax fraud.
When an employee “blows the whistle” on their employer they somehow share secret company information about illegal or unsafe practices going on within their company with government authorities. Whistleblowing commonly describes the act of an employee informing the IRS of tax fraud. In order to qualify as a whistleblower one must be legally qualified as an original source, or being an official employee with access to private company information.
When an employee files a claim with the IRS they are heavily encouraged to provide some sort of documentation proving whatever it is they are claiming. Financial records, confidential documents and bank statements are some of the most commonly provided documents. The claim is then investigated by government employees. If the whistle blower’s claim turns out to be true, then they are entitled to fifteen percent of whatever funds are recovered by the government.
Naturally companies and corporations would be financially hurt by whistle blowing, so the government passed the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. This act is a U.S. federal law passed to protect whistleblowers that work for federal government agencies. The act protects government employees from the potential harm they could experience from their actions of reporting malicious acts to the proper authorities.
Many potential whistle blowers realize that they are taking a considerable risk by reporting misconduct to the government. Additionally, many whistle blowers have been known for having to deal with negative consequences and retaliation by the company they work for. Unfortunately, the potentially negative consequence of losing their job and being harassed discourages many would-be whistleblowers.
The federal government has tried to counter employee fear of blowing the whistle by providing incentives to those who have courage enough to stand up for what is right. “Whistleblower” can accurately define any individual who reports act of misconduct like: law breaking, fraud, corruption, and abuse of power or obvious wasting of assets.
The most notable case involving a whistle blower took place in September of 2009. The case involved the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. A sales representative for the company was assisted a government investigation of the drug company’s marketing stagey of the drug Bextra. The evidence provided by the whistle blower led to Pfizer pleading guilty to a number of civil and criminal charges, and having to pay the federal government $2.3 billion dollars. The whistle blower in this case received $51.5 million dollars, the largest sum ever paid to any whistle blower.