Toggle Menu
March 17, 2024 | Hiring an Attorney

What Is a U.S. Attorney? And How a Former One Helps Your FCA Whistleblower Case

By: Bill Nettles

A U.S. attorney is a White House-appointed prosecutor and the top law enforcement officer for one of the country’s 97 districts. This means there are only 97 active U.S. attorneys at any given time.

The duties and powers of the U.S. Attorney include representing the government when citizens step forward to blow the whistle on fraud against the government.

If you suspect fraud against the government in North or South Carolina and hire a whistleblower attorney, your attorney will try to persuade the U.S. Attorney in your state to take on your case. This is because if the government agrees to take your case, it will likely be successful, and you may be entitled to a significant reward.

Having a former U.S. Attorney on your side can significantly increase your odds of convincing the government to take your case.1 A former U.S. Attorney knows who to contact and what arguments to make – and they may even be reaching out to the very office they used to run.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

As former U.S. attorney for South Carolina, I helped South Carolina become one of the top 4 districts in the country for whistleblower recoveries – during my tenure, my office was responsible for recovering more than $307 million in stolen taxpayer funds.1,4 I now represent private whistleblowers who bravely step forward to expose fraud against the government.

In this article, I’ll tell you what steps to take if you suspect fraud against the government, how your whistleblower attorney can help reduce your risk of retaliation, and how having a former U.S. Attorney to handle your case can make a difference.

To speak confidentially with a member of our team right now, call 1-888-292-8852 or contact us online.

What are your options if you suspect fraud against the government?

Suspecting fraud against the government by your employer or another can put you in a difficult situation. You want to do the right thing and report the fraud, but you don’t want to risk your career.

If you decide to blow the whistle in North or South Carolina, you’re required to have an attorney help you with your case. You want someone who can guide you through the complex procedures, knows how to fight back against employer retaliation, and always puts you first.

But how do you choose the right whistleblower lawyer for you?

  1. You can consider a small firm, but they may not have the resources to handle massive whistleblower cases. For that reason, the firm might hand off your case and refer it to another firm with a larger team.
  2. You can consider a larger firm without an exclusive whistleblower focus. But determine the firm’s experience in successfully handling complex whistleblower cases by asking these key questions:
    • How many cases has the firm handled to a successful resolution?
      Many firms have never even handled a whistleblower case.
    • Do they know from firsthand experience what the government is looking for in the whistleblower cases it accepts?
    • Would the firm have enough people and other resources dedicated to your case?
      You don’t want to be exposed to unnecessary risk.
    • How many tens of millions has the firm recovered in whistleblower rewards?
  3. You can choose a firm with knowledge and experience to present your case to the government and request their intervention. But the government can only accept a fraction of whistleblower cases presented to them. Does this firm have rare experience in continuing privately with a whistleblower case if the government declines to intervene? A successful case without the government’s help can entitle you to a much larger award.
  4. You can choose a team with ample resources, deep experience, and an exclusive focus on helping whistleblowers, led by a former U.S. Attorney who made whistleblowing claims a top priority during his tenure and has a long track record of success (that’s me).1,4

How can a former U.S. attorney help FCA whistleblowers like you?

The National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys has nearly 380 members. Only a small percentage remain in private practice, and even fewer handle FCA whistleblower cases exclusively.

A former U.S. Attorney helps you with your whistleblower case by:

  1. Collecting evidence and preparing a compelling argument based on firsthand experience for why the current U.S. Attorney should intervene in your case. Remember, when the government intervenes in a case, it is likely to be successful.
  2. Helping you keep pursuing your case even if the government declines to intervene. This requires extensive know-how and a lot of work – but may entitle you to a greater share of the reward in a successful case.
  3. At the conclusion of a successful case, the government will determine your potential award. The percentage of your share is based on a variety of factors. A former U.S. Attorney who used to determine award percentages for whistleblowers knows how to advocate on your behalf with a current U.S. Attorney’s office for you to receive the greatest possible reward.

How can a former U.S. attorney help protect you from whistleblower retaliation?

When you file a whistleblower case, your attorney will do it for you confidentially and try to maintain your anonymity for as long as possible. Even after your identity becomes known, the False Claims Act prohibits retaliation by your employer.

Unfortunately, retaliation still occurs. However, retaliation may entitle you to additional compensation on top of any whistleblower award you may receive.

At Carolina Whistleblower Attorneys, my team knows how to spot and fight back against any employer retaliation, including:

  • Firing
  • Professional ostracism or “blackballing”
  • Demotion
  • Discipline
  • Reassignment
  • Relocation
  • Other ways to inflict intentional distress and punishment

Note: Your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you for blowing the whistle even if your good faith suspicions turn out to be incorrect!

Carolina Whistleblower Attorneys – Free, confidential conversation

As a former U.S. Attorney, fraud against the government makes my blood boil. I’m passionate about trying to make fraudsters pay for their greed. That’s why I formed Carolina Whistleblower Attorneys.

Our mission is to stamp out corporate greed, while guiding those who have the courage to come forward, and my team’s results speak for themselves.1

To help you expose fraud, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means we will advance the costs of building your case as we work together to recover stolen taxpayer money. And if we’re unable to help you win an award, we won’t collect any attorney’s fee from you at all. Guaranteed.2

Suspect fraud? Let’s have a confidential chat where we can answer your questions and help you make the right decision for you. The conversation is free and there is no obligation.

Contact us online or call 1-888-292-8852 now.

Bill Nettles avatar

Bill Nettles


About the Author

Bill Nettles has dedicated much of his career advocating for whistleblowers. He spent six years as the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina where he redirected resources to the False Claims Division of the office, bringing the state to a top-4 ranking in the country for whistleblower recoveries during his tenure.1 He is admitted to practice to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In addition to serving as a Board Member of the False Claims Division of the Federal Bar Association, Bill is a frequent lecturer on false claims issues throughout the country.

Contact the Carolina
Whistleblower Attorneys

If you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to speak with a whistleblower lawyer about what you know, let us set the record straight.

  • Corporate ethics hotlines can be risky and may lead to termination. If you’ve already done this, call us immediately.
  • Your coworkers could be aware of the fraud – or complicit in it – and you should not talk to them about it.
  • The first claim to be filed under the False Claims Act can proceed – if you’re not first, you’re at a serious disadvantage and may get nothing (another reason not to speak to your coworkers about it).
  • A confidential discussion costs you a few minutes, but could save you time, stress, and money.


"*" indicates required fields

* Denotes required

Disclaimer: Submission of any information to does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. We have attorneys licensed to practice law in North and South Carolina.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.