April 23, 2024

Bucks Blog: Weighing the Right Thing to Do

As Paul Sullivan recounts in his Wealth Matters column this week, anyone considering the financial rewards of becoming a whistle-blower should fully consider all the possible fallout. A lawyer who has represented whistle-blowers, John Phillips, explained it this way: “You may find yourself unemployable. Home foreclosures, divorce, suicide and depression all go with this territory.”

In other words, the decision to become a whistle-blower should not be made lightly.

Other lawyers who handle these cases also cautioned against thinking that the recent $104 million whistle-blower award from the Internal Revenue Service to Bradley C. Birkenfeld is typical. The payouts from most cases, if they ever reach that point, are usually far, far less.

What would you do if you knew about something, perhaps in your workplace or among your circle of friends, that amounted to defrauding the government? Would you report it, realizing that you might be putting your livelihood and, perhaps, your own reputation on the line?

Article source: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/weighing-the-right-thing-to-do/?partner=rss&emc=rss