The federal and state False Claims acts allow a lawsuit to be brought under seal, so the whistleblower’s identity does not get revealed to the defendant unless the case goes into litigation or a settlement is announced. The IRS Whistleblower program protects the identity of whistleblowers vigorously while in the claims process. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission also works to protect whistleblower identity.
The SEC has the broadest protection for whistleblowers who want to remain anonymous. An SEC claim can be filed by Linda Stengle standing in for an anonymous whistleblower. SEC anonymous whistleblowers can determine how and under what circumstances their identities would become known to both the SEC and the public.
Stengle Law is a staunch advocate for whistleblowers seeking to keep their identities private. Linda Stengle successfully argued the landmark case for IRS whistleblower anonymity in the US Tax Court.
We have taken creative measures to protect the identity of small groups of whistleblowers by ensuring that the names of the individual whistleblowers do not appear when the case is filed.
At Stengle Law, we hope to work with would be whistleblowers early in their process so we can provide them with advice on how to avoid retaliation. Unfortunately, retaliation against whistleblowers is a grim and typical aspect of human nature, and there are several laws in place to recompense the whistleblower for serious damages once retaliation has already taken place. The federal False Claims Act recently enacted a nation-wide three year statute of limitations for people who have been retaliated against for blowing the whistle on government fraud, waste, and abuse. The SEC Whistleblower Program purports to prioritize cases in which whistleblowers have suffered retaliation. In the case of tax underpayment, the IRS whistleblower program provides no opportunity for a whistleblower to recover monetarily for retaliation, but the New York False Claims Act not only allows whistleblowers to report New York tax underpayments but also includes an anti-retaliation provision.
Many attorneys will recommend and even file a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of the whistleblower. Stengle Law believes there are better, more effective legal mechanisms that work for whistleblowers. To determine whether your whistleblower retaliation experience falls within the protection of the SEC, CFTC, or FCA whistleblower bounty programs, call for a personal, free consultation.