False Claims Act Cases: Government Intervention in qui tam (whistleblower lawsuits)
Below is a brief, general overview of qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act. For information on how our firm can help with a qui tam lawsuit, please complete the form below for a free legal review of your possible case.
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., provides for liability for triple damages and a penalty from $5,500 to $11,000 per claim for anyone who knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false or fraudulent claim to the United States.
The statute, first passed in 1863, includes an ancient legal device called a “qui tam” provision (from a Latin phrase meaning “he who brings a case on behalf of our lord the King, as well as for himself”).
This provision allows a private person, known as a “relator,” to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States, where the private person has information that the named defendant has knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims to the United States.
The relator need not have been personally harmed by the defendant’s conduct.
The False Claims Act has a very detailed process for the filing and pursuit of these claims.
The qui tam complaint must, by law, be filed under seal, which means that all records relating to the case must be kept on a secret docket by the Clerk of the Court.
Copies of the complaint are given only to the United States Department of Justice, including the local United States Attorney, and to the assigned judge of the District Court.
The Court may, usually upon motion by the United States Attorney, make the complaint available to other persons.
Read more about the False Claims Act.
Moving forward with a possible qui tam case
If you are aware of an individual person or company that you think may be violating the Federal False Claims Act or a State False Claims Act, you should contact a whistleblower lawyer who can assist you in evaluating your potential claim.
Please complete the form below and we will be in touch shortly to discuss your possible case.
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