Chicago Whistleblower Lawyer Crowned the "King of Qui Tam" by Law Magazine
"Qui tam" is a Latin term referring to the kind of 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 are given through a statute known as the False Claims Act, a law first established by Abraham Lincoln. The False Claims Act serves to protect whistleblowers who report fraud against the government (called "relators") and incentivizes integrity by providing that successful relators get 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.
The article notes that Behn started representing whistleblowers in qui tam suits after a successful career prosecuting fraud on Wall Street with the United States Attorney's Office. "There's no greater privilege in law in my experience than representing the United States of America," said Behn. "Once you do that, it's hard to give it up."
Behn and his clients now pursue fraud claims by working side-by-side with federal prosecutors. "I love my clients," Behn said. "In some cases, they lost their jobs standing up for what's right. To serve those kinds of clients, to have their trust when their trust has been so fundamentally violated, is an honor."
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"
Behn recently represented the pharmacist whistleblower in a $170 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson involving kickbacks to influence drug selections in nursing homes (D. Mass. 07 CV 10288-RGS). Other Behn cases recovered over $120 million through settlements of Medicaid fraud allegations against Walgreens, CVS, and Omnicare. All three qui tam whistleblower cases were filed under federal and state False Claims Acts in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, Illinois, docket numbers 03 C 744 (Walgreens), 03 C 742 (CVS) and 01 C 7433 (Omnicare). For more information, visit www.BehnWyetzner.com