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.