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When you speak up, we’ll help you stand strong.

It takes courage and a strong sense of duty to call out corporate fraud against the government. At Halunen, we’re here to help you stand up and speak out. Because when you’re willing to fight for what’s right, we’re in the fight with you.

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Whistleblowers are the government’s most powerful tool to uncover and punish fraud against the United States. The key enforcement mechanism in the False Claims Act, SEC Whistleblower Program, IRS Whistleblower program, and CFTC Whistleblower program is their reliance upon “insiders” or whistleblowers to provide credible information documenting fraud against the U.S. government. These whistleblowers assist the government in protecting the public trust and holding accountable those who would defraud the government.

The Tax Payers Against Fraud Education Fund explains how the False Claims Act (FCA) works in this short video. The attorneys in Halunen Law’s False Claims Act practice group are members of this non-profit, public interest organization that is dedicated to standing against government fraud and protecting public resources.

The Federal False Claims Act and similar state statutes provide significant financial rewards to whistleblowers who expose fraud against government agencies or programs. The False Claims Act also makes it illegal to retaliate against whistleblowers.

In a successful case, whistleblowers (called “relators”) are typically entitled to anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the amount recovered by the government. This amount can be significant because a defendant found guilty of fraud must pay three times the government’s losses, additional penalties, and attorney’s fees for the case. For example, in a case involving false billing for work on helicopters, the federal government recovered $150 million and the whistleblower received $22.5 million.

Anyone who has information about fraud against the government is a potential whistleblower/relator. Qui tam relators include employees, patients, vendors, bookkeepers, medical care providers, accountants, auditors, independent contractors, analysts and service providers — if you are aware of fraud against the government at either the federal or state level, you may be able to start a False Claims Act case.

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QUESTIONS? WE HAVE ANSWERS

What is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act is a whistleblower statute. It allows ordinary citizens to file a lawsuit on behalf of the United States against companies and individuals who steal taxpayer money by committing fraud against the government. When the government is successful in recovering fraudulently obtained money, the whistleblower is entitled to 15% – 30% of those funds. That’s $150,000 – $300,000 if the government recovers $1,000,000!

Is this the same as a “qui tam” case?

Yes, many people call these “qui tam” cases because they allow an individual to challenge fraud by standing in the shoes of the government. “Qui tam” (pronounced “kwee tam” or “key tam”) comes from a Latin phrase used in England for a person “who brings the action for the king as well as himself.”

What kinds of fraud are covered?

A potential False Claims Act case occurs anytime a company or individual engages in fraudulent conduct that causes the government to pay money it would not otherwise pay.

Covered fraud can include:

  • Medicare, Medicaid, pharmaceutical, and other healthcare fraud
  • Defense contractor fraud
  • Abuse of government contracts/procurement/Small Business processes
  • Illegal kickbacks
  • Misuse of government grants and funds
  • Billing the government for items or services not received
Who can bring a qui tam lawsuit?

Most anyone who knows about fraud against the government can bring a case. This includes employees (current and former), independent contractors, competitors, clients, and patients. However, it is essential to work with an experienced False Claims Act lawyer who knows how to prepare the case for the government.

How do I know if I have a case?

If you are aware of fraud against the government, Halunen Law is ready to help you figure out whether you have a case under the False Claims Act or other whistleblower statues. If you have experienced retaliation for reporting fraud, we can make a claim for that as well. We are experienced False Claims Act attorneys and represent whistleblowers on a contingency basis.

Contact Us For Help

Our firm’s Minnesota employee rights lawyers are available to advise you about your legal rights and your options for moving forward. Contact us at 612-605-4098 or toll free at 866-523-8533 for assistance.