The lawyer credited as the whistleblower on an alleged scam targeting 9/11 first responders is speaking out.

Michael Barasch says his firm represents about 10-thousand first responders and others who got sick after the attacks.

He says he became suspicious when one of his clients was given an enormous interest bill by R-D Legal Funding, and decided to contact the Attorney General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"It sure smelled like usury to me," said Barasch. "This was one of these lecherous companies coming down on the 9/11 community and I will not allow anybody to take advantage of any of my clients. This is shameful."

Eric Schneiderman and the bureau filed a lawsuit against R-D Legal Funding Tuesday.

The New Jersey-based company allegedly told first responders it could cut through red tape to get them their money faster, even though it had no legal ability to do so.

Authorities say the company collected millions by charging interest rates as high as 250 percent, along with high fees on the advances.

A lawyer for the company had no immediate comment.