A prominent law school’s law review recently published Joel Hesch’s new article helping courts properly apply the “original source exception” to the public disclosure bar. The article outlines to the court and lawyers when a whistleblower is eligible for a reward for reporting fraud when the fraud allegations already appear in the news media or public domain.
In order for a whistleblower to be eligible for a reward for reporting fraud against the government, the whistleblower must hire an attorney and file a qui tam suit in court alleging the fraudulent billings to the government. The reward program, however, restricts awards in situations where the fraud allegations had already been published in the news media or certain other places where the government is deemed to already be able to root out the fraud without the help of a whistleblower. This is known as the public disclosure bar. At the same time, the False Claims Act statute contains an original source exception that allows the whistleblower to still receive a reward if it can show that it was an original source of the information contained in the public disclosure. In 2010, Congress amended the original source exception and the courts are not consistently applying the revised exception and some are even incorrectly making the exception harder to satisfy than intended by Congress. That’s why Joel wrote an article to assist the courts in coming up with a consistent and fair approach to awarding whistleblowers for reporting fraud.
The citation to the article is: Joel Hesch, Restating the Original Source Exception to the False Claims Act’s Public Disclosure Bar in Light of the 2010 Amendments, 51 U. Rich. L. Rev. 991 (May 2017). This is the seventh time Mr. Hesch has published a law review article addressing the proper standards for the courts to follow in applying the whistleblower reward program.
The 2010 version of the original source exception can be met if either (1) a relator told the government about the fraud before a qualifying public disclosure occurred, or (2) a relator’s information is independent of and materially adds to the publicly available information. The few cases that have ruled on this statute have not consistently ruled upon the definition of independent, and courts have not adopted a full or uniform standard for the term “materially adds.” Therefore, Joel’s article addresses the boundaries and application of the new original source exception. It also restates the original source exception and suggests to the courts a uniform standard and guidance for when a whistleblower satisfies the original source exception and is entitled to a reward for reporting fraud against the government. A copy of the Hesch’s law review article is attached and can be read at this link: RESTATING THE ORIGINAL SOURCE EXCEPTION TO THE FALSE CLAIMS ACTS PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BAR May 2017.
How to ask The Hesch Firm to become your whistleblower reward attorney
Mr. Hesch would be pleased to review in complete confidence your allegations of fraud against the government. He will determine in strict confidence if he believes you have a case where a significant reward is possible and can discuss the risks and rewards with you before you decide to report fraud. You can read here his extensive experience as an attorney working for the Civil Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the whistleblower reward office on this website. Not only did Mr. Hesch work for more than 15 years in the Washington, D.C. DOJ office that pays nation-wide whistleblower rewards, but for the past 10 years he has represented whistleblowers report fraud under the reward .
See this link to have Mr. Hesch review your potential whistleblower reward case and help you decide whether to report fraud and file for a whistleblower reward.
(Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be viewed as legal advice. Each case is unique and you should speak to an experienced whistleblower reward attorney to find out if you are eligible for a reward.)