Our law firm is currently handling qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers to enforce the federal False Claims Act or corresponding state statutes. In a qui tam action, a private individual may sue on behalf of the United States government to recover money that was obtained by fraudulent means by an employer or corporation. The private citizen receives a reward in cases where the government successfully recovers its funds.
Qui tam actions are a type of whistleblower lawsuit pursuant to the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, (i) it is a crime for any person or organization to knowingly present a fraudulent claim for payment or approval, (ii) knowingly make a false record or statement related to a false or fraudulent claim for payment or an obligation to pay the government or (iii) knowingly conceal or avoid an obligation to pay money or property to the government.
A qui tam action enables private individuals known as whistleblowers to assist the government in detecting and preventing fraud and other illegal activity. The whistleblower needs strong evidence, such as financial statements, email and memoranda in order to file a qui tam lawsuit. Qui tam claims may be based on various types of fraudulent behavior including Medicare and Medicaid fraud, defense contractor fraud, fraudulent use of grants and loans, and misuse of disaster relief funds. The federal government has recovered many billions of dollars in fraudulent payments pursuant to qui tam lawsuits.
Individuals who are found to have defrauded the government under the False Claims Act are liable to pay up to three times the amount actually defrauded in addition to other penalties. An individual who brings a successful qui tam lawsuit can recover up to 30 percent of the amount recouped by the federal government.
The False Claims Act contains anti-retaliatory provisions that safeguard whistleblowers who pursue qui tam actions that constitute violations of the False Claims Act. Thus, whistleblowers are protected from harassment, suspension, demotion, denial of benefits, and sanctions when they report information that is the basis of a Qui Tam action. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation even if their reasonable beliefs about the actions constituting a qui tam action are incorrect.
Many states have also instituted state whistleblower programs that are based on the federal whistleblower program. Like its federal counterpart, state programs confer awards for reporting fraud and also require the whistleblower to appoint counsel and submit legal documents detailing the fraud.
The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139 or submit an inquiry on this page.