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It is nearly impossible to put a universal label on fraudulent activity. Every organization is beholden to industry laws and guidelines, reinforced by state regulations and federal statutes such as the False Claims Act. But often the distinction between legal and illegal, right and wrong, gets lost in a web of complicated rhetoric and pervasive uncertainty. Simply put – when companies commit fraud, it can be hard to determine how, when, or even whether, to speak up.

At Hodgson Russ, we are an accomplished legal partner you can trust. We treat justice seekers – known as "whistleblowers" – as individual voices with important information on illegal activity for the safety and security of all. We also recognize that the right time for sharing this information is subjective and sensitive for every individual. Our team has the experience, success, and compassion to listen to your concerns with respect, and to be there when you need us.

We are in the business of keeping business honest. And we believe your integrity matters.

Learn more about our Whistleblower practice or contact our chairman, Daniel Oliverio.

Contact Dan Oliverio

Our chairman Daniel Oliverio heads an accomplished team of former federal and state prosecutors, former government attorneys, and industry practitioners. Most notably, he led the successful representation of two plaintiffs in a case against Johnson & Johnson – resulting in one of the largest False Claims Act settlements in history.


  • Medicare & Medicaid Fraud
  • Pharmaceutical Fraud
  • Procurement Fraud 
  • Education & Grant Fraud 
  • Banking & Financial Services Fraud 
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Fraud
  • Defense Contractor Fraud 
  • Tax Fraud
  • Other Fraud 

Whistleblower News and Cases

Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Then-Largest False Claims Act Settlement in Risperdal Lawsuits

In 2013, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Johnson & Johnson would pay $1.273 billion to the federal government and most states to settle a civil False Claims Act investigation into its off-label marketing of its drug Risperdal. J&J settled a criminal investigation into the matter for an additional $800 million.

Two of the J&J whistleblowers were represented by a Hodgson Russ team led by Daniel C. Oliverio. Other team members were Joseph V. Sedita and Robert J. Fluskey, Jr.

More Articles


  • A False Claims Act whistleblower, or relator, is a person who, as a plaintiff, brings a False Claims Act case on behalf of the government. These two words are often used interchangeably.

    A whistleblower/relator can be an employee, a customer, an unrelated party, a competitor, or any other person or entity that learns about government billing or claim fraud. Often current employees have the best "view" of a scheme to defraud the government. These individuals have the ability to see such a scheme first hand and are typically familiar with the claims and billing process. Competitors may suspect a billing scheme is being perpetrated by another company because of pricing differentials or from information received from disgruntled employees. It is also not unusual for former employees to report a scheme to defraud. In all cases, it is important that the whistleblower/relator be the "original source" of the information; i.e., that the information is not publicly-known or known to the government in advance.

  • Under certain circumstances, False Claims Act cases can arise from overcharges, fraudulent non-compliance with a contract, fraudulent billings, overpayments, unrefunded amounts owed to the government, certain false certifications, and concealment of product defects. There are countless possible false claims scenarios.

  • Initially, yes. False Claims Act cases begin under seal, which keeps the case and the whistleblower's identity confidential. These cases are only unsealed when the court orders it. The length of the process can be as short as two months to as long as a year or more.

  • It may. The recent amendments to the False Claims Act's anti-retaliatory provisions cover contractors and agents of the retaliating party who are not technically "employees."

  • Hodgson Russ has considerable experience on both sides of False Claims Act cases. We have defended corporate clients that have been sued under the act, and we have represented whistleblowers alleging a wide range of frauds. We know how the process works, we know the players, and we know what it takes to ensure you are represented well, that you are most helpful to the government, and that you receive the highest share of the proceeds to which you are fairly entitled. We pride ourselves on being a full-service firm with substantive knowledge and experience beyond the False Claims Act — experience in the areas and industries where fraud commonly occurs, including medical technology and pharmaceuticals, military contracting,, and transportation.

  • Examples include Medicare and Medicaid fraud, off-label pharmaceutical sales, and defense contractor fraud.

  • Yes. Your lawyers do not have to have offices near you or the company at issue. Hodgson Russ has pursued False Claims Act cases in various jurisdictions across the country.

  • Our legal fees are paid as a percentage of your recovery. If you do not recover, you do not have to pay our legal fees.

Does the anti-retaliation protection extend to me if I am not an employee of the company at issue?

It may. The recent amendments to the False Claims Act's anti-retaliatory provisions cover contractors and agents of the retaliating party who are not technically "employees."