If employees in Louisiana or anywhere else have information about illegal activity within their companies, they are allowed to report it. As long as a claim is made in good faith, an employee is generally protected from retaliation from their employer. A former Tesla employee told the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2019 that the company had hacked employee cellphones and that other materials had been stolen. This tip is said to corroborate another tip the SEC received in August.
Many Louisiana companies work with the federal government, and are paid by the government for their goods and services. If the company involved submits a false claim to the government, it may constitute fraud or another actionable crime. Any individual who has information about such false claims may file a qui tam action. If the government prevails, the person who brought the action may be entitled to a percentage of the funds recovered.
A leading wholesale drug company that distributes a significant share of pharmaceuticals to Louisiana and the rest of the country, agreed to a settlement based on a claim that it repackaged and sold contaminated oncology drugs to the federal government. The $885 million settlement includes more than $600 million in civil damages.
A large cancer drug company recently settled a massive qui tam lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice worth more than $600 million. The lawsuit alleged that the AmerisourceBergen Corporation repackaged oncology drugs that contained bacteria and other non-sterile particles and sent them out to health care providers in Louisiana and throughout the United States. This legal action was initiated by a whistleblower whose actions are protected under the False Claims Act, also called Lincoln's Law.
If the Securities and Exchange Commission recovers money because of the actions of a whistleblower, that person could be entitled to up to 30 percent of the amount recovered. This is meant to provide incentive for Louisiana residents to speak up when they suspect illegal activity is taking place. However, a new proposed rule would give the SEC more power to either increase or reduce an award as it sees fit.