Individuals who blow the whistle on illegal, unethical, or wasteful conduct in government and business play a critical role in policing bad behavior and upholding the rule of law. Too often, however, shining a light on wrongdoing can put whistleblowers’ careers and reputations at risk.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, a long-time whistleblower advocate, recently put it best when he said that whistleblowers – whom he described as “patriots and heroes” that have saved the government more than $53 billion in taxpayer money – are “treated like skunks at a picnic.” As Sen. Grassley explained, "Whistleblowers have exposed waste, fraud, and abuse in just about every industry and agency in this country. The issues they report can involve millions and even billions of taxpayer dollars. They can also literally be matters of life and death.” Still, “No good deed goes unpunished”: Whistleblowers face enormous challenges, including potentially losing their jobs and income for years while their cases are pending.
Bentham IMF has long understood that giving whistleblowers the security they need to step forward is critical to exposing fraud. Bentham is committed to helping whistleblowers overcome these challenges by providing funding (typically, up to $10 million) to cover whistleblowers’ living and business expenses while their cases are pending. Bentham’s funding is provided on a non-recourse basis, meaning it is only repaid for its investment if and when a whistleblower’s case results in an award. Bentham also conducts its own due diligence in making a funding decision and leaves all legal strategy and settlement decisions to the whistleblower and his or her counsel.
In addition to funding whistleblowers, Bentham can also give them access to (i) a network of successful relators (including Chris Riedel, one of the most successful whistleblowers in US history and recipient of the Whistleblower of the Year Award) who are available to discuss any problems or concerns based on their own real-life experiences; (ii) a list of excellent whistleblower attorneys to evaluate claims, if needed; (iii) preliminary tax guidance from a foremost tax expert in whistleblower cases; and (iv) other financial professionals who can help whistleblowers protect any funding provided by Bentham or received in an award.
As Sen. Grassley remarked, “When you see . . . fraud, waste, and abuse, you have a choice. You can go along to get along or you can speak up.” Bentham’s funding and support can make all the difference to whistleblowers facing that choice by giving them the confidence they need to step forward and shine a light on waste or fraud.
For more on Bentham’s support for whistleblowers, please contact us for a consultation
 Matthew Putney, Hardly ‘fake,’ whistleblowers are US heroes, Dubuque Telegraph (Aug. 13, 2017).