A Ninth Circuit panel upheld their decision to dismiss a Qui Tam action filed against the now defunct Corinthian Colleges and their accountant, Ernst & Young. The two employees who filed the suit claim that both these institutions defrauded the federal government out of billions in education funds from the Higher Education Act through the misuse of quota-based requirement practices.
In addition to standing by their dismissal, the panel also reversed sanctions for $1.5 million against the attorney of the two whistleblowers for what was originally deemed as being a “frivolous” suit.
The two workers whose case was dismissed in 2009 and again in 2013 tried to revive it a third time in May of 2016, claiming that the lower court had not examined any key evidence.
In the previous dismissal, the college stood by its claim that the plaintiff’s attorneys recruited the two employees for the case knowing that they failed to pass two crucial tests required to pursue False Claims Act (FCA) violations: firsthand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing and an ability to present claims that have never been publicly disclosed. In this instance, both employees could not prove that they had firsthand knowledge and the college’s practices had already been disclosed to the government in a similar 2005 case.
Federal whistleblower law protects those who report, either verbally or in writing, to the government any waste or misuse of federal funds by an employer from retaliation or discrimination. Depending on the ruling rendered, an employee may be entitled to between 15 and 25 percent of what the government recovers from its losses. If the government does not wish to proceed with a case, the employee can pursue a claim themselves.
Philadelphia Whistleblower Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Offer Counsel in Qui Tam Actions
If you or someone you know wishes to report the misuse or waste of government funds or has been retaliated against for doing so, Philadelphia whistleblower lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green can advocate for you. Individuals who have reported False Claims Act violations in good faith should not fear intimidation at the hands of an employer and their lawyers. We will aggressively fight for you. To schedule a consultation, call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online today. With offices located in Philadelphia, we fight for the rights of whistleblowers throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.