Chicago lawyer and co-founder of Behn & Wyetzner, Chtd., Michael Behn was recently titled the “King of Qui Tam” in a profile published by Northeastern University Law School. Mr. Behn was recognized for his long career successfully representing whistleblowers who report fraud to the government under the False Claims Act and SEC whistleblower program.
The Illinois whistleblower lawsuit against multiple Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and Bank of America, cleared a major hurdle after an Illinois court rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. The suit was filed by Edelweiss LLC under the Illinois False Claims Act, by Chicago attorney Michael Behn of Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered. (State of Illinois ex rel. Edelweiss LLC (Case No. 2017 L 000289).
Judge Diane Shelley of the Illinois state court in Chicago stated that Edelweiss’ whistleblower “complaint articulates in myriad detail how false claims could have been presented to the State of Illinois.”
On July 27, 2018 the CBS News program 48 Hours featured the gripping story behind the Northrop-Grumman case that lasted more than 16 years and settled for $134 million. The show features Michael Behn, of Behn & Wyetzner, Chtd. and our client Jim Holzrichter.
The program is part of a series on whistleblowers and “documents the long journeys of courageous heroes and corporate victims,” said Behn, a former federal prosecutor who has been representing whistleblowers for decades. “It is hosted by Alex Ferrer, a former judge and police officer, and is produced by Emmy-award winning producer Peter Bull. Alex and Peter understand how to tell a whistleblower’s reporting of a fraud to its true victims, the taxpaying public.”
The 48 Hours show is available on the CBS website, here.
The support of federal agencies is key to the successful prosecution of fraud and False Claims Act cases. Chicago whistleblower attorney, Michael Behn, of Behn & Wyetzner, Chtd. would know. He is a former federal prosecutor and has achieved extensive recoveries under the False Claims Act, on behalf of the government and his whistleblower clients. Behn recently sat down with prominent agency lawyers and investigators to discuss whistleblowers, the False Claims Act, and how best to prosecute fraud against the government. [Read more…]
Behn & Wyetzner attorney Michael Behn teamed with government investigators and whistleblowers at a training session hosted by the Illinois Association of Inspectors General. [Read more…]
For the past 10 years, since the enactment of the IRS Whistleblower Office, the IRS has recovered over $3.4 billion because of information submitted by whistleblowers. Out of that sum, $465 million was awarded to whistleblowers. [Read more…]
According to the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the DOJ recovered more than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in fiscal year 2016, making it the third highest annual recovery in FCA history. Since 2009, the Department has regularly recovered above $4 billion per fiscal year, and the total recovery during that period is more than $31.3 billion. [Read more…]
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is poised to adopt new rules and regulations that will improve the transparency of its whistleblower program while also bolstering protections for whistleblowers. The proposed amendments will also make the CFTC’s program more consistent with the SEC’s whistleblower program, which has already implemented similar rules and regulations.
“Since the whistleblower program was established in 2011, the need for certain improvements has become apparent,” the CFTC stated. By giving whistleblowers “greater clarity about the claims and awards process and greater assurance that retaliation would not be tolerated,” the CFTC believes the proposed rules will “encourage whistleblowers to step forward.”
The SEC’s whistleblower program paid out a record $57 million to whistleblowers in Fiscal Year 2016. That figure is higher than all previous awards issued through the SEC whistleblower program combined.
According to the agency’s 2016 annual report to Congress, available here, the Office of the Whistleblower received over 4,200 tips and enforcement actions led to $584 million in financial sanctions. The number of tips the office received reflects a 40% increase over FY 2012, the first year the office recorded full-year data. According to the report, the increase in tips is due in large part to the growing awareness of the whistleblower program.