A whistleblowing case, or “qui-tam” case, is a lawsuit against individuals or companies that have had some role in defrauding the federal government and American taxpayers. Through these lawsuits, our firm uses a whistleblower’s unique knowledge about fraud to recover the government’s losses on the government’s behalf. The whistleblower, usually a person with inside knowledge of the fraud, is entitled to a reward between 15 and 30% of the total recovery if the case is successful.

The False Claims Act allows people to file on behalf of the state or federal government. This act is one of the most effective tools in fighting Medicare and Medicaid fraud, as well as defense-contractor fraud and other types of fraud perpetrated against the federal government, as it provides an incentive for people to step forward on the government’s behalf.

Through False Claims Act litigation, the US government has recovered nearly $22 billion dollars between 1987 and 2008. Whistleblowers serve an invaluable role in helping our government uncover fraud and prosecute those committing it. We are here to help.

What is the False Claims Act (Qui tam)?

The False Claims Act is 31 U.S.C. Sections 3729 through 3733. Qui tam, under the False Claims Act, allows persons and entities with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the United States Government. In Qui tam actions, the government has the right to intervene and join the action. If the government declines, the private plaintiff may proceed on his or her own. Some states have passed similar laws concerning fraud in state government contracts.

What actions are considered violations under the False Claims Act?

  • Knowingly presenting (or causing to be presented) to the federal government a false or fraudulent claim for payment;
  • Knowingly using (or causing to be used) a false record or statement to get a claim paid by the federal government;
  • Conspiring with others to get a false or fraudulent claim paid by the federal government;
  • Knowingly using (or causing to be used) a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay money or transmit property to the federal government.

These represent only a few of the types of fraud that can be the basis for a successful whistleblower claim. Read below for more specific types of violations.

Who can file a Qui Tam Action?

Any persons or entities with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts may file a qui tam lawsuit. If the government or a private party has already filed a False Claims Act lawsuit based on the same evidence as you, you cannot bring a lawsuit. You must be the first to report, or there is no reward for disclosure of the fraud.

Who can be a whistleblower?

Many people who file qui tam lawsuits (called the “relators”) are employees or former employees of companies that commit fraud; however, anyone who knows of an instance where the government has paid false claims can file a qui-tam lawsuit: a competitor, a customer, a subcontractor or even a patient.

What are the whistleblower protection provisions in the False Claims Act?

Under Section 3730(h) of the False Claims Act, any employee who is discharged, demoted, harassed, or otherwise discriminated against because of lawful acts by the employee in furtherance of an action under the False Claims Act is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole. Such relief may include reinstatement as well as double back pay and compensation for litigation costs and attorneys’ fees. So, there are penalties for retaliation.

The scope of whistleblower protection under Section 3730(h) is an issue that currently divides the courts. Many states have wrongful discharge or other employment laws that may provide other remedies for such retaliation. The Statute of Limitation for filing a FCA retaliation case is different then that for filing a qui tam recovery case. You must check with us to determine what that is in your state.

How can you get help?

For more information contact us or call our office at 305.555.5500 for a free consultation.


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