Posted: August 1, 2012

Lynn Szymoniak couldn't have known on one fateful day back in 2008 that she would be rich in a few years. But her actions led to the uncovering of widespread fraud on the part of some of the country's biggest banks and, ultimately, a very large whistleblower reward for citizens who helped bring the case to light. In all, six whistleblowers shared $46.5 million, with Szymoniak’s share being $18 million, according to a recent CNN report. In a settlement of the case, the nation's five largest mortgage lenders agreed to pay $5 billion in fines and roughly $20 billion more in refinancing and mortgage modifications for borrowers. The U.S. False Claims Act allows private citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the government when they have information the government is being defrauded. These citizens are then entitled to a portion of any award or settlement. For more information on whistleblower lawsuits, go to