WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Among U.S. President Barack Obama's biggest financial backers are lawyers who specialize in representing whistle-blowers, fundraising disclosures show.
The small but powerful group of lawyers have flourished in the wake of financial reforms implemented by the Obama administration. The New York Times reported Monday the government has paid out nearly $1.6 billion in whistle-blower cases from fines levied against offending businesses.
In some instances, the law firms representing the whistle-blowers claim up to 40 percent of the award for themselves.
The lawyers involved in those cases have raised $3 million for the president's re-election effort, writing checks to Obama's campaign directly, along with a "super PAC" supporting him, the Democratic National Committee and congressional Democrats.
Obama's opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a former private equity firm manager, has pledged to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act placing greater regulations on Wall Street. Romney also supports capping the amount of awards for whistle-blowers, pointing to a recent award of $104 million, saying what was once an effort to keep businesses honest has turned into an attempt to win the lottery, the Times reported.