A Call from a Friend Led Him to a Multi-Million-Dollar Case
A lot of people tend to assume lawyers have enormous salaries, but a lot of lawyers, especially those working at small firms, make only a modest income. So, the millions of dollars that might be on their way to attorney David Wasinger as part of a settlement agreement he negotiated and a case he won is anything but business as usual for him.
Wasinger is the only partner of a small law firm in St. Louis, Missouri. He works with just four other lawyers and his firm handles mostly business disputes. He had never represented a whistleblower until he got a call from an old business acquaintance in early 2012.
A whistleblower is someone who works in an organization that is allegedly committing fraud against the government, and they decide to alert the authorities. Because whistleblowers are risking their jobs and their reputation, they usually receive 15-25% of the settlement or court-ordered award that comes out of the lawsuit as an incentive to alert the government to fraud.
A share of that money goes to the lawyers representing the whistleblower, which is why whistleblower cases are highly competitive. Wasinger’s position is unique in that he didn’t compete to represent this client – the client reached out to him because they already had a relationship. When you’re blowing the whistle on fraud worth billions of dollars, you need someone you can trust.
The first lawsuit Wasinger brought to court accused Bank of America’s Countrywide unit of engaging in widespread fraud. In January of 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan announced it would be asking for as much as $2.1 billion in penalties from the bank after a jury found it to be guilty of fraud. Continue reading ›