The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals* relied heavily upon a law review article written by Joel Hesch when ruling that a whistleblower is still entitled to a reward even when the underlying allegations had been publicly disclosed before filing for a reward.
The court was faced with determining the meaning of the False Claims Act’s “original source” exception to the “public disclosure bar.” Generally, whistleblowers may not receive a reward when the allegations have been publicly disclosed before filing for a reward, unless they meet the original source exception spelled out in the FCA. However, in 2010, Congress significantly modified this exception. One way whistleblowers can meet the exception is by producing information that “materially adds” to information already publicly disclosed in the media. When ruling upon the breadth and meaning of the material adds provision, the court relied heavily upon a law review article written by Joel Hesch. Mr. Hesch wrote the scholarly article to guide courts and whistleblowers as to the proper interpretation of this new provision. The article is entitled Joel D. Hesch, Restating the “Original Source Exception” to the False Claims Act’s “Public Disclosure Bar” in Light of the 2010 Amendments, 51 U. OF RICH. L. REV. 991, 1019 (2017).
The Tenth Circuit adopted Hesch’s approach for the correct standard courts should follow when ruling upon the meaning of the original source exception. It cited Hesch nine times in making its ruling. In short, Hesch’s law review article argued that whenever a whistleblower has first-hand information regarding a company’s intent to cheat the government, it satisfies the materially adds standard. The Court relied upon Hesch’s article to rule that the whistleblower was entitled to a reward notwithstanding that the allegations had been mentioned in the media prior to filing for the reward. Click here to read the Court Decision.
How to ask The Hesch Firm to become your whistleblower reward attorney
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. 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.
*There are 13 appellate courts that sit below the U.S. Supreme Court, and they are called the U.S. Courts of Appeals.