A whistleblower is someone who reports misconduct to people or entities that have the power to take corrective action, including whistleblower lawyers who represent whistleblowers in presenting their cases to the government and filing a lawsuit. Usually that misconduct is a violation of law or rule and directly threatens the public interest. Examples of famous whistleblower misconduct cases involve fraud, health, safety violations, price fixing, and corruption.  Whistleblowers are most often employees of businesses or government agencies. Several famous whistleblowers have revealed drastic wrongdoing in our country and changed the face of the United States.

Famous Whistleblowers in Government

One of the most famous whistleblowers is W. Mark Felt, also known as “Deep Throat.” He discovered President Nixon’s involvement in the illegal dealings at the Watergate Hotel at 1972.  Felt’s leaks to the

Washington Post lead to President Nixon’s resignation, and the imprisonment of White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman and presidential advisor John Erlichman. 

A similarly famous whistleblower is Linda Tripp, who alleged that Monica Lewinsky committed perjury in a deposition regarding Lewinsky’s relationship with President Bill Clinton.  After information about Tripp was leaked to the press, she successfully pursued a claim against the Clinton administration under the Privacy Act of 1974.

Famous Corporate Whistleblowers

There have also been many famous whistleblowers in the private sector. Sherron Watkins, the former vice president of Enron, became a famous whistleblower when she exposed the irregular accounting activities of the company.  This exposure led to an SEC investigation that resulted in the corporation’s bankruptcy, which drastically affected Enron stockholders.  Jeffrey Wiggand is a famous whistleblower who exposed the misconduct of the cigarette industry when he revealed that cigarette manufacturers knew that nicotine was addictive and that cigarettes were carcinogenic.  This action led to a serious overhaul in government regulation of the entire tobacco industry had significant civil settlements in various states.

Whistleblower Law Firm

If you know of illegal private activity that is defrauding the government, you could be entitled to file a whistleblower lawsuit.  Under a qui tam provision of the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can receive from 15-30 percent of the damages awarded by a judge.  Contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer today for a free claim evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by