Key Stats and Figures on Whistleblowing

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It turns out that one of the top ranked websites for statistics concerning whistleblowers is a random business site pushing marketing services. It mentions the False Claims Act twice and doesn’t even mention the Internal Revenue Service or Securities and Exchange Commission. Published in 2015, it’s obvious that someone just went out there to research whistleblower data in order to become a potential source for reporters on the subject.

We took a few hours to compile our own list of whistleblower statistics and data, including 24 key information on the False Claims Act, fraud, retaliation, whistleblower programs, awards and internal reporting.. We’ll add to it as key reports are published and the information changes. Our goal is to eventually have a resource database that our clients, attorney colleagues and reporters can use when they need information concerning the area where we practice.

We know that we aren’t completely there yet and this list is a work in progress. We hope you will email us with additional information. And we will continue to review our past blog posts for stats that we should include on this page.

Whistleblower Awards

  • The U.S. Government has paid out more than $4 billion to whistleblowers since 1986.
  • The top payout for a single whistleblower was $104 million under the IRS program in 2012.
  • The top payout under the False Claims Act to a single person was $96 million to a health care whistleblower in 2010.
  • The top payout in a single False Claims Act case was the more than $170 million split by three individuals and a mortgage company in the $16 billion mortgage fraud settlement.
  • 80% of cases filed under the False Claims Act end in zero reward and the average take-home for bounty recipients after taxes is $150,000, according to Patrick Burns of Taxpayers Against Fraud.
  • The highest percentage allowed by a government goes to the California Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, which will award up to 50 percent of the recovery to the individual in a non-intervened case.

Compliance Statistics

  • In 2015, there were 1.3 internal reports of wrongdoing to corporations for every 100 employees.
  • U.S. organizations learned of 32 percent of fraud by external measures or accident in the past two years, according to the US Supplement to PwC’s 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey.

Retaliation Data

  • Retaliation for reporting discrimination is the top complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – 44.5% of reports mention it.
  • The number of reports of whistleblower retaliation to OSHA has increased every year since FY 2009 (through FY 2015).
  • More than 25% of internal retaliation reports were substantiated through corporate investigations in 2015.

Securities Whistleblowers

  • Companies were already aware of the wrongdoing in 80% of the SEC whistleblower rewards through FY 2015.
  • Retirees provide 10% of the tips to the program (according to FOIA information provided in 2014 of the nearly 3,600 whistleblowers listing a job title).
  • Roughly 50% of awards have gone to individuals significantly contributing to an existing enforcement action (according to FY 2015 report data).
  • 25% of the SEC awards have gone to individuals jointly submitting information.
  • Only 4.2% of the Form TCRs received by the government pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act have gone to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC rules.

False Claims Act

  • The U.S. Government has recovered over $26.4 billion under the False Claims Act during President Obama’s administration, including over $3.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015.
  • Whistleblowers filed 638 qui tam lawsuits in fiscal year 2015.
  • The Justice Department settles or wins over 90 percentage of its cases, but it joins only 20 to 25 percent of qui tam cases.
  • Only 20% of non-intervened cases are successful.
  • The settlements and judgments in non-intervened cases in 2015 exceeded the highest previous year by more than five times. No previous year topped $200 million and there were nearly $1.15 billion in recoveries in FY 2015.
  • The U.S. Government recovers $20 for every $1 it spends fighting health care fraud through the False Claims Act.

Fraud Statistics

  • CMS estimates that 10 percent of the Medicare budget, or $60 billion, is lost to fraud, waste or abuse.

Sources of the Statistics and Data on Whistleblowing

Meet the SEC’s 6,500 Whistleblowers – Wall Street Journal – July 28, 2014.

CFTC Annual Whistleblower Program Reports to Congress –

2015 SEC Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program

EEOC Charge Statistics through FY 2015

Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Fraud Statistics – Overview

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