New Whistleblower Rewards Policy Offers Incentives to Report Misconduct

“If your company has had a recent brush with the law, now is the time to invest — and reinvest — in your compliance programs.” That was one of the messages delivered recently by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, at the American Bar Association’s 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime.

Monaco said that as her agency investigates more complex schemes, they are devoting more resources to cracking down on corporate crime – including healthcare fraud.

Whistleblower Program Incentives

As part of that crackdown, Monaco announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will be expanding the current whistleblower rewards program with a simple premise designed to create new incentives for those who report misconduct.

“If an individual helps DOJ discover significant corporate or financial misconduct — otherwise unknown to us — then the individual could qualify to receive a portion of the resulting forfeiture.”

The Whistleblower Pilot program formalizes a method to reward individuals for providing information leading to criminal or civil forfeitures. It is set to launch later this year.

She equated the idea to the days of “Wanted” posters in the Wild West that incentivized people to assist law enforcement in turning in wanted criminals.

How it Works

There are some caveats including the whistleblower has to be “first in the door” to be eligible for a reward.

“When everyone needs to be first in the door, no one wants to be second – regardless of whether they’re an innocent whistleblower, a potential defendant looking to minimize criminal exposure, or the audit committee of a company where the misconduct took place,” she said.

In addition, the whistleblower will only be compensated after all victims have been properly compensated.

Currently, whistleblowers first must file a lawsuit against the alleged offender. The DOJ then can decide if it wants to take on the litigation or let the whistleblower pursue the case on their own.

Whistleblower Settlements and Judgments

Last year, the government and whistleblowers were party to 543 settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act (FCA), the highest number in a single year. The FCA provides that any person who knowingly submits, or causes to submit, false claims to the government is liable for three times the government’s damages plus a penalty that is linked to inflation.

The whistleblower incentive program is still being developed, but Monaco said it will be limited to those who were not involved in the criminal activity. She said the pilot program will be launched within 90 days with a full program later this year.

Investing in Compliance

In addition to creating incentives for people to come forward, Monaco says the program also is designed to drive companies to invest further in their own internal compliance and reporting systems.

Monaco said existing deterrents “resemble a patchwork quilt that doesn’t cover the whole bed. They simply don’t address the full range of corporate and financial misconduct that the department prosecutes.”

The new program, she said, is designed to fill the gaps that exist to create a more targeted program and to go after some of the more egregious cases.

How We Can Help

Whistleblower cases are highly complex and require the knowledge and skill of an attorney who has extensive and relevant experience. The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale is known for its representation of whistleblowers, as well as its ability to defend those who become the target of a whistleblower action.

In addition, our firm can help you to develop an effective program that allows you to identify and correct any problems before you become the target of an investigation.

If you or your company are the subject of an investigation an effective compliance program may help you mitigate or eliminate potential sanctions, penalties, and program exclusions.

For more information, contact us at 305-358-4500 or email

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The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale