Who can be held liable?
Who Can be held liable? The Federal False Claim Act includes any “person.” The term “person” can include an individual, corporation, city, county and many other legal entities, all of whom may be sued for filing false claims against the United States. The state of Florida’s false claim law is the same, except for local governments (cities and counties). They cannot be sued for under the Florida False Claims Act. They can be sued under the Federal Act.
What about taxes? The IRS richly rewards people who provide information about underpayment of taxes. Generally, the whistleblower must provide information about tax underpayment exceeding $2 million and, if the taxpayer is an individual, the individual’s annual income must exceed $200,000. The reward is 15% to 30% of the total amount collected by the IRS. So if the amount recovered by the IRS (including interest and penalties) is $10,000,000 the reward will be $1,500,000 to $3,000,000. There is no upper limit to the dollar amount that must be paid. Unlike the False Claim Act, the identity of tax whistleblowers is intended to remain confidential. The IRS has special procedures in place to ensure that the auditors and anyone else dealing with the taxpayer does not know the identity of the whistleblower. The whistleblower’s identity is maintained by a special whistleblower office, which does not share it with other IRS employees.
If you know of an entity that has underpaid its taxes, you may be eligible for a whistleblower reward. We can help you with this.
What about cities and counties? The Federal FCA does not prohibit a municipality, such as a city or county, from wasting its own money. However, a city or county cannot waste federal money. See False Claims by Cities and Counties.
I was cheated, what can I do? This is not covered by the FCA. Many laws protect consumers, but not the False Claims Acts. If you believe you have been cheated and you can’t work it out by yourself, collect all documents that support your belief and contact a lawyer or your jurisdiction’s consumer protection agency.
Bailout “banksters” and financial fraud?
Yes, the federal government is on the lookout for corrupt “banksters.” If you know of fraud in any area of government bailout, you may be entitled to a whistleblower reward. This includes the following types of frauds:
- ABS (asset-backed security)
- Federal Reserve Act (FRA) 13.3
- Government bailouts Capital Purchase Program (“CPP”)
- Make Home Affordable (“MHA”) Program
- Mortgage Modification
- Public-Private Investment Partnership (“PPIP”).
- Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”)