In 2018, the Justice Department of America recovered over $2.8 billion through cases filed through the False Claims Act.
So who filed these cases? And how did they recover that money?
To understand that, we first need to understand the concept of “qui tam”, and more importantly qui tam lawsuits.
So let’s start things off by examining them both.
What Is a Qui Tam Lawsuit?
Qui tam by itself translates to “in the name of the king”. However, it also happens to be a provision under the False Claims Act, that allows private citizens or “whistleblowers” to sue anyone for fraud against federal programs on behalf of their government, provided they have sufficient evidence to back up their claims.
If the government declines to intervene in the lawsuit themselves, the plaintiff still retains the option of pursuing the case themselves.
While this law is applicable to fraud against the federal government, certain U.S states also allow for citizens to sue for fraud against their respective state governments.
In return for these lawsuits, the whistleblower is provided compensation for their information, and for the success of their lawsuit. The lawsuit can only be filed in confidence, or “under seal”, to give the Department of Justice a sufficient period of time to analyze the evidence provided, and investigate the allegations that have been made.
The lawsuit must be filed within ten years of the violation of the act.
What Acts Can Call for a Qui Tam Lawsuit
So, how do you know if you have a qui tam case under the False Claims Act? The first thing you need to do is check if the evidence or information you have against a person or entity implicates them in the following offenses against the government:
- False applications for a government loan
- Using fraud and deceit to get government funds
- Fraudulently looking to get into government contracts
- Trying to pay the federal government less than the amount due
- Submitting false claims of complying with laws or regulations
- Going against contractual obligations
Additionally, there are more provisions under the act that could warrant a qui tam lawsuit, and it is advisable to consult a lawyer who specializes in these matters to get a clearer idea of the nuances within these types of laws.
A successful lawsuit would warrant a penalty of up to $11,000, but not less than $5,500, to be decided at the discretion of the Supreme Court.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Case
Think you have a good case for a qui tam lawsuit? Then it’s time to pursue it. Generally, while a lawyer is not necessary, it is definitely advisable because these cases can get difficult to navigate, given the involvement of the Federal Government and other entities.
Still confused? Get in touch with one of our exceptionally skilled attorneys for a FREE consultation on your case by just filling out a short form or giving us a call.