Office Depot California False Claims Settlement Still In The News
Former Employee Blew The Whistle
$23.5 Million Whistleblower Reward
Back in 2015, Office Depot settled a California False Claims Act (CFCA) whistleblower case that alleged Office Depot overcharged state agencies for school supplies and other products. The case settled for $77.5 million without any admission of wrongdoing by Office Depot. The estate of the whistleblower, a former Office Depot Manager who brought the allegations, received a $23.5 million reward. Currently, Office Depot is litigating in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against its insurer for coverage. See Office Depot, Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., Case No. 17-55125 (9th Cir.).
The California and San Francisco whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent whistleblowers in CFCA cases against government contractors, corporations and service providers who defraud the State of California. If you have credible information for a false claims or other whistleblower case in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. The CFCA provides whistleblowers (also referred to as “relators”) with protection against retaliation by an employer for bringing a case (Calif. Gov’t Code § 12653), and our lawyers can represent you in any action for wrongful termination as well as in your underlying whistleblower suit.
A whistleblower lawsuit under the CFCA starts with a complaint filed under seal in the Superior Court of California. The defendant corporation is not served with the complaint. Instead, the whistleblower must serve a copy of the complaint and a disclosure statement on the California Attorney General. This allows the Attorney General to investigate the case while under seal and, if warranted, intervene in the action. In the event the Attorney general intervenes, the State of California will primarily conduct and prosecute the action. If the State decides not to intervene, the whistleblower can continue to prosecute the case alone.
The CFCA provides that whistleblowers can recover from 15 to 33 percent of any recovery if the government intervenes and 25 to 50 percent of the recovery if the whistleblower litigates alone. Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(g)(2)-(3).
In addition to cases under the California False Claims Act, our California whistleblower attorneys also handle whistleblower cases before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding tax avoidance schemes and before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in securities and investment fraud cases and in cases brought under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”) for bank fraud. If you or a loved one has information regarding State or federal false claims, offshore tax avoidance schemes against the IRS, or securities fraud in violation of SEC and CFTC regulations, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other California whistleblower and false claims attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.