February 28, 2014
Disappointing news for whistleblowers and all who want to stop corporate fraud: The West Virginia House of Delegates this week rejected a bill that would have given whistleblowers job protection and a reward for reporting fraud against the government.
With a 55-42 vote, the Government Fraud Prevention Act (House Bill 4001) was defeated despite strong Democratic support and testimony that the false claims law could return millions of dollars to the state that otherwise would be lost to fraud. Opponents claimed the legislation would be bad for business.
“The reality is there is nearly, by some accounts, a hundred billion dollars a year in Medicaid fraud,” said Judiciary House Committee Chairman Tim Manchin (D-Marion). “What more can we do to help taxpayers than stop people from cheating them, from taking their money?”
The whistleblower legislation may not be totally dead. West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison) said he was considering sending the bill to an interim committee for further study.