Corporations are often held accountable for fraud because of brave employees who expose their boss’ wrongdoing – changing the way corporations function for the better. These whistleblowers are a highly effective source for detecting corporate malfeasance and exposing wrongdoing in the corporate world to law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and the civil justice system.
Thanks to whistleblowers, Wall Street banks have been held accountable for falsely certifying federal housing loans; for-profit colleges’ schemes to illegally accept federal student financial aid have been uncovered; government contractors have come under fire for overbilling the government; healthcare providers have been prosecuted for defrauding Medicare; and nearly all major drug manufacturers have been caught inappropriately marketing drugs, failing to disclose potential side effects, and paying health care providers to push those drugs.
Unfortunately, blowing the whistle can lead to consequences for the individuals who step forward against corporate fraud – often costing them their jobs and future employment opportunities. Fortunately, protections for whistleblowers have greatly expanded over the last 30 years. Several federal laws as well as laws in 49 states protect whistleblowers from retaliation.
- There are several federal laws that address whistleblowing, the False Claims Act (FCA) is the government’s key tool to combat corporate fraud.
- The FCA has succeeded in returning approximately $39 billion to American taxpayers through the U.S. Treasury.
- The FCA is also cost-effective for taxpayers – for every dollar the federal government invests in investigating and prosecuting these cases, it receives between $15 and $20 dollars back.
- Corporations fight to dismantle the FCA because it allows citizens and the government to hold them accountable for stealing from American taxpayers.
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