Relator for United States ex rel. Robinson v. Northrop Grumman Corp.
Jim worked as an internal auditor for Northrop Grumman’s Defense Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. While performing audits on large transactions for government projects, he discovered that the company was falsely inflating its materials costs to increase its reimbursement from the government. Jim confronted the company about these discrepancies, but Northrop responded by firing and blacklisting him.
In 1989, Jim, along with fellow Northrop employee Rex A. Robinson, filed a qui tam suit against Northrop. Although the government initially declined to intervene, Jim, Rex, and their attorneys continued investigating on their own until they had gathered enough evidence for the government to reconsider its position. The government did eventually intervene, and the case settled in 2005, with Northrop paying $134 million. To honor Jim’s work on the case, Taxpayers Against Fraud named him the Whistleblower of the Year in 2007, and the International Association of Whistleblowers gave him a Profile in Courage Award in 2008.
Following his successful whistleblower lawsuit, Jim decided that he wanted to do something to give back to the qui tam community. As one of two co-founders of Taxpayers Against Fraud’s new whistleblower mentoring program, Jim offers encouragement and support to whistleblowers currently litigating their cases.
In 2008, Mike Behn’s work with whistleblower Jim Holzrichter was highlighted in Leading Lawyers Magazine, in an article titled: “Mike Behn: Helping Whistleblowers Do the Right Thing.” The article was written by James Stevens and is available here.