Utah does have a state False Claims Act. Whistleblowers may file claims of fraud, waste or abuse affecting state government. If you have a whistleblower claim, please contact us so that a lawyer may advise you about your whistleblower rights under the state FCA as well as qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act.
Utah Whistleblower and Qui Tam News
- Audit: Utah A.G.’s office needs clearer whistleblower protection, ethics guides
June 23, 2015 – The Utah attorney general’s office doesn’t have adequate policies in place to protect employees who blow the whistle on corruption or misdeeds in the office and still lacks adequate ethics policies and guidelines for employees, according to audits released Tuesday. Those findings by the legislative auditor general, looking at the performance and budgetary management in the attorney general’s office, come more than 18 months after Attorney General Sean Reyes replaced John Swallow, who resigned the post amid a major bribery and corruption scandal. In addition to inadequate whistleblower and ethics frameworks, the auditors found the office lacked a way to gauge the effectiveness of its attorneys and that a long-standing budgetary practice of letting the office keep some of the money it recovers is overused and may not be entirely legal.
- Former Utah deputy says he was fired after complaining that co-worker wore prison suicide smock as Halloween costume
June 18, 2015 – A former Duchesne County Correctional Facility deputy claims in a lawsuit that he was harassed and wrongfully fired because he complained that two co-workers used prison property as inappropriate Halloween costumes. In his suit, which was filed Wednesday in 8th District Court against Duchesne County and its sheriff’s office, Brady Davis is claiming violation of the Utah Whistleblower’s Act and defamation. He is asking for reinstatement to his job, lost wages and benefits and unspecified monetary damages. Davis said the trouble began when he saw photos in October on a social media website of a Duchesne County sheriff’s lieutenant in a Utah Department of Corrections orange jumpsuit and a deputy in a green prison suicide smock who was pretending to hang himself. Davis was concerned because the two men were using corrections property for their personal benefit and the pictures reflected negatively on their employer, the lawsuit says.
- Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Under False Claims Act Claims College Recruiters Were Illegally Compensated
May 10, 2014 – According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) website, a complaint has been filed against Stevens-Henager College, Inc., and its owner, The Center For Excellence in Higher Education, under the False Claims Act (FCA) for claims it was illegally compensating its college recruiters. The chain of for-profit colleges is operated in both Idaho and Utah. “Congress has made clear that colleges should not pay improper incentives to admissions recruiters,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery. “The Department of Justice and the Department of Education are working together to combat unlawful recruitment practices that can harm students and result in the waste of taxpayer funds.”
- Utah Company Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Small Business Contract Fraud
March 27, 2014 – SALT LAKE CITY—The owner of a small Utah-based construction company will receive a $148,480 whistleblower reward for helping the U.S. government recover nearly a million dollars from another larger construction company that allegedly was conducting a scheme to defraud a Small Business Administration (SBA) program designed to help small businesses. Saiz Construction and its owner Abel Saiz filed a lawsuit against Okland Construction Co. under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government if they possess evidence of fraud, waste, abuse, and other wrongdoing targeting federal agencies and programs. Okland resolved the allegations by agreeing to pay the U.S. $928,000.