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Whistleblower wins $7.8 million in settlement

Sometimes it pays to do the right thing. Just ask the man who just received a cut of a $38 million settlement from a fraud case in which he was the whistleblower. His portion will be $7.8 million, though he says his motivation was never the money.

The man in question was a sales representative for Forest Pharmaceuticals when he started to feel uneasy about some of the company's practices. He says he was essentially "paying" doctors to write prescriptions for the drugs he was selling by taking them out for fancy dinners, drinks and even expensive vacations.

He reported his concerns to his superiors and, for his conscientiousness, he was rewarded with a cold shoulder from everyone around him at the company. The employee sued using the False Claims Act, a law that enables people with knowledge of fraud to come forward. Federal prosecutors found validity in his claims and were able to successfully prosecute Forest Pharmaceuticals. The man claims he was reluctant to come forward at first, but was "proud to say what [he] did was courageous and the right thing to do,"

In the seven years it's been around, the False Claims Act has resulted in settlements totaling $31 billion.

If you've taken note of any unethical activities by the company you work for, whether it's fraud, discrimination or anything else, remember that staying silent will only perpetuate the behavior. If you do decide to speak out, an attorney may be able to help build a solid case and get a settlement.

Source: jsonline.com, "Whistleblower gets cut of $38 million pharma case," Bruce Vielmetti, December 20, 2016

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