Fraud Artists Beware of the Whistleblower’s Law
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) September 20, 2012 - Whistleblowers help the federal government collect money illegally paid out as the result of scams, schemes and cons.
“Over the past few years, given the nature of the economy, attempting to defraud the federal government has become more common. Tax evasion is one of the most common types of fraud against the U.S. government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),” explained Tom Robenalt, a Cleveland whistleblower attorney, “or it may involve Medicare overbilling, using wrong codes, performing unnecessary procedures or billing for procedures not done, etc. These are all ripe areas for whistleblowers.”
Call it under reporting, or fiddling with the numbers, or an indirect fabrication about the facts. No matter what it is labeled, it is still fraud. Consider the latest story to hit the media; a record breaking $104 million award to an IRS informant. The informant was a former private banker, who had chosen to withhold information about a wealthy client.
The man was convicted because he “planned and initiated” a scheme for clients to commit tax evasion on the basis of information he provided to the IRS. “In other words, he turned himself in, and invoked the Whistleblower’s Law. He was convicted of tax fraud and sent to jail for 40-months, but when he gets out, he gets $104 million under the Whistleblower’s large award program,” Robenalt explained. “To be clear though, participation and knowledge of tax fraud will not disqualify whistleblowers from recovery.”
Anyone may turn in a fraud artist. However there are some rules and regulations that need to be followed. The whistleblower program has been revamped with the large awards program and a smaller awards program. The distinction is the percentage of reward an informant is handed later, when the case is settled.
The large awards program applies when taxes, penalties and interest on a fraud case are in excess of $2 million or, if the taxpayer is an individual whose gross income is in excess of $200,000. Award percentages run from 15 percent to 30 percent of the ultimate settlement after prosecution. The small awards program is for those who do not qualify under the large awards program, and offers 15 percent of collected proceeds. Rewards are not instant, and in many cases may take from four to seven years or longer to settle.
“You need legal assistance from a Cleveland whistleblower attorney to file a tax fraud or Medicare false billing whistleblower’s case. The Department of Justice wants complaints to have all the necessary legal evidence, strict compliance with the statutory procedures and an attorney’s memorandum spelling out the law. This makes it easier for them to pursue the case,” added Robenalt.
Aware of fraud in a workplace? Discuss the situation with an experienced Cleveland whistleblower attorney.
Mellino Robenalt LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901
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