A Pennsylvania whistleblower has helped the government settle a civil fraud case for $425,000.
According to the Department of Justice press release, the whistleblower uncovered a scheme by a local beauty school to submit false applications for federal financial aid. The complaint alleges that the school submitted false aid applications to the federal government, knowing that its students were ineligible. Many of the students were ineligible due to a lack of high school diplomas or equivalent. To support its false claims, the school often submitted fake diplomas or encouraged its students to obtain false credentials on their own.
The claim was brought by a Philadelphia whistleblower under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA allows those who have uncovered fraud against the government to bring a civil action and share in any recovery. Whistleblowers are also provided with significant protections from workplace retaliation under the FCA. Many states also have false claims acts, that help whistleblowers combat fraud against state governments.
The complaint and settlement discussed above are based on allegations only. No determination of liability has been made.