What should you do if you’ve encountered defense contractor fraud and you want to stop it? Practically speaking, start by getting qualified legal representation as soon as possible. You need legal protection, to understand the best ways to insulate yourself from retaliation or other negative results, and, importantly, to make sure you aren’t somehow held liable for the fraud. (Or, if you already have been involved, what you can do to minimize your liability.) Beyond that, there are other possibilities to consider.
Does This Relate To Classified Work?
The law does not automatically protect those who reveal classified material as whistleblowers. Therefore, before filing any complaint, consider whether any material relating to your complaint is classified. If so, you’ll need to follow special procedures to qualify for whistleblower protections.
File A “Qui Tam” Complaint
If you’ve uncovered a defense contractor’s large-scale fraud, consider filing a False Claims Act “qui tam” lawsuit in federal court. When you file the claim, the lawsuit is filed under seal for 60 days. This means that the government has 60 days to review your allegations and decide if they want to prosecute your case. If they do not, you may continue to litigate it on your own. If you prevail, you’re entitled to an award of 30% of the government’s proceeds.
File An SEC Complaint
If the defense contractor is a publicly-traded company, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may want to investigate. While your case may not, at first blush, seem to relate to the SEC, it’s possible that the contractor’s fraud will lead to the discovery of other wrongdoing under the SEC’s jurisdiction. For example, if the fraud relates to goods or services that they haven’t delivered or don’t work—it’s likely there may be related statements about that work in the company’s SEC filings. And that could be actionable from the securities’ perspective.
File A Complaint With The Inspector General
The Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) is charged with reviewing allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse within the department, and the IG accepts whistleblower complaints.
To be successful in whistleblowing requires strategic and tactical experience—even in navigating the best office to report the issue. Experienced attorneys, such as those at the Silver Law Group and the Law Firm of David R. Chase, can help. For a free, confidential consultation, email us or call today at (800) 975-4345.