Former federal prosecutor Michael I. Behn has been representing whistleblowers for 25 years, helping recover over $500 million in taxpayer funds through some of the most significant whistleblower suits ever brought. This month, Boston’s Northeastern University Law magazine recognized Mr. Behn’s remarkable career in a profile headlined the “King of Qui Tam.” The article can be found at www.bit.ly/BehnKingOfQuiTam.
“Qui tam” is a Latin term (often pronounced “key tam”) for the lawsuits brought by Mr. Behn and his clients. In a “qui tam” lawsuit, a citizen who witnesses fraud against the government can sue on the government’s behalf to recover taxpayer money stolen through lying or cheating.
These “qui tam” rights come from a statute known as the False Claims Act, a law first established by Abraham Lincoln. The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers who report fraud against the government (called “relators”) and incentivizes integrity by paying successful relators 15-30% of any government recovery. These “qui tam” provisions have resulted in billions of dollars in recoveries, and have been expanded to securities fraud, tax fraud, and commodity futures fraud.
Behn founded the law firm Behn & Wyetzner Chartered to combat fraud and advocate for whistleblowers (http://www.BehnWyetzner.com). Last year, Behn was featured on the CBS News “Whistleblower” program for his role in obtaining a $134 million settlement from Northrop Grumman Co. in a case involving fraud in the Stealth Bomber program. Visit www.bit.ly/BehnForWhistleblowers
Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered
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