Sometimes being a whistleblower pays off and pays well.

At least, that is what Lynn Szymoniak learned when she discovered widespread fraud on the part of major banks handling foreclosures.

Years after she reported the fraud, the big banks settled with the government to the tune of $25 billion. Szymoniak was awarded $18 million for her efforts alone.

And she's not the only one. The False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to sue on the government's behalf when the government is being defrauded, awarded whistleblowers $46.5 million out of the national foreclosure settlement alone.

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