The Department of Justice (DOJ) Confidential Informant (“CI”) Whistleblower set a record for one of the largest “related action” awards in history of over $90 million. The award determination described the DOJ CI Whistleblower as a “high-level manager” who shared “very confidential information” to “assist the DOJ,” resulting in significant sanctions arising from the large corporate criminal enterprise.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Confidential Informant (“CI”) Whistleblower set the record for one of the largest “related action” awards in history of over $90 million. The award determination described the DOJ CI Whistleblower as a “high-level manager” who shared “very confidential information” to “assist the DOJ,” resulting in significant sanctions arising from the large corporate criminal enterprise.
All of the major whistleblower reward laws have a “related action” provision that permits whistleblowers to obtain rewards based on enforcement actions undertaken by other agencies. For example, if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a fine based on information provided to the SEC, the whistleblower can obtain a reward based on the EPA’s fine. However, the EPA has no reward provision.
DOJ CI Whistleblower was a highly anonymous whistleblower who the Department of Justice granted Confidential Informant status. The DOJ CI cooperated with the Justice Department and helped obtain related action prosecutions. This cooperation, entitled the DOJ CI to a reward. In justifying his whistleblower award, the government explained that the DOJ CI has provided the Justice Department with “confidential information not available to criminal investigators, “ and that the whistleblower had “thoroughly presented the factual details in a clear and organized manner.” The whistleblower-CI “cooperated throughout” the DOJ investigation and was able to present the government with “numerous internal documents.” The government noted that there were “no negative factors,” which would have justified reducing his or her reward.
This case is hugely significant as the company/persons targeted by the Justice Department were unaware that a whistleblower even existed. This case demonstrates that the government can use whistleblower-information in a manner that shields the identity of the whistleblower yet permits the government to use insider and highly confidential information to hold wrongdoers accountable effectively.
The overwhelming majority of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto’s clients file cases anonymously or confidentially. The whistleblowers often escape detection and retaliation yet are fully eligible for obtaining rewards. As such, the firm cannot comment on the overwhelming number of cases in which the firm is involved.
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