To many, whistleblowers are akin to folk heroes. After all, the result of many famous whistleblowers coming forward yielded a number of earth shattering decisions in court. Had these individuals not come forward then much of the fraud and corruption that they exposed would still continue unabated. As such, their contributions do deserve a great deal of recognition. While the following is hardly a comprehensive list of the most famous whistleblower cases in history it does highlight a number of the most influential.
Bristol-Myers Squibb soon discovered that the DOJ frowns on illegal kickbacks and incentives when such actions cost BMS $515 million dollars. This happened after it was discovered that the company was inflating prices on drugs as well as providing financial incentives in the form of “consulting fees” to doctors who prescribe BMS manufactured drugs.
The legendary giant General Electric usually has a solid reputation. This is why it was shocking when a $59 million dollar judgment was levied against the company after it was discovered it diverted government funds to unapproved areas.
The defense contractor Northrop Grumman was successfully sued for $111 million when it was proven one of its subsidiary companies, TRW, was guilty of repeatedly submitting false and inflated bids to the government.
The University of Phoenix has found itself in significant trouble as it is facing a major False Claims Acts. Essentially, the university had misled the Department of Education in order to acquire financial aid to students as it offered financial incentives to enrollment counselors to boost enrollment. Such activities are barred under the law.
The $75 million dollar Medicare fraud judgment against Medicom was a national news sensation. The public was seemingly shocked when it was divulged that this company had routinely defrauded Medicare on the billing for a spinal injury device.
Dr. Frederick Whitehurst is often considered a hero in whistleblower circles for his testimony regarding FBI fraud. A laboratory scientist, Whitehurst testified during the World Trade Center bombing that the FBI falsified lab evidence and convinced witness to perjure themselves at the trial. While this occurred during a criminal trial as opposed to a civil suit is immaterial since the end result brought greater scrutiny on the way the government conducts law enforcement activities.
Another famous whistleblower case was the dismissal of a case brought by Peter Rosi against Pfizer. Now, some may wonder what would make a whistleblower case where the whistleblower lost important to study. Well, that question answers itself. Rosi’s case regarding illegal Medicare billing was weak and poorly argued. As such, it is a textbook example that claiming fraud vs. proving liability in a court of law is not the same thing. Therefore, it is critical to develop the strongest case possible.
QUI TAM – IMPORTANT INFORMATION
- Do not discuss your Qui Tam claim with anyone other than an attorney!
- Contact an Attorney if you think you have a case.
- In order to prevail, you must be the First to File.
- There is also a Statute of Limitations.