The Federal False Claims Act permits a whistleblower or relator to file a qui tam lawsuit against a defendant for defrauding the federal government. The term “qui tam” refers to a Latin phrase, meaning that the person sues on behalf of himself and the government.
Qui tam lawsuits are filed under seal so that the government may conduct its own investigation without the defendant knowing of the filing. If the government joins the lawsuit, the case is unsealed and the government and relator jointly prosecute the case.
The False Claims Act covers a wide range of fraudulent activities. Examples are as follows:
- Conspiracy Claim. This occurs when more than one business or person acts together to violate the False Claims Act. An example of a conspiracy claim is a general contractor that knows its subcontractor is violating the terms of a federal contract, but falsely submits a compliance certification to the federal government to obtain payment of an invoice.
- Mischarge and Overcharge Claims. This event occurs when a business or person knowingly presents a false or fraudulent claim to obtain payment from the federal government. An example of a mischarge claim is a doctor who submits a bill to Medicare for medical services that have not been provided to a patient.
Due to various factors, these cases often take years and sometimes decades to resolve. Having a team of experienced False Claims Act attorneys on your side from start to finish is the best way to ensure that you follow the False Claims Act’s whistleblower rules and receive whistleblower protection.
We are ready to help you determine your whistleblower claim’s true potential. And, we are ready to help you maximize your whistleblower reward.