Qui tam lawsuits
Are a type of civil claim where an informant comes forward under the False Claims Act, a law that rewards informants if the information they provide recovers money for the government.
Any claim that alleges fraud against the United States government. The False Claims Act provides job security and protection for whistleblowers. Under the Act a private citizen may sue an individual or a business that is defrauding the government. The lawsuit is filed “under seal”- this means is that only the government will know about the lawsuit that is being filed to give time for them to investigate.
First, the whistleblower will meet with out law firm. We will decide the base course of action in filing the suit. With the client we will decide where the case should be filed. After we decide the logistics the Relator’s statement and complaint will be written and filed. The government will then do a thorough investigation into the claims. The government has 60 days to do an initial investigation but will often extend the timeline to further investigate the claim.
The government will then choose whether or not to take the claim. If they take the claim the government will do most of the litigation and the whistleblower will receive compensation if the government wins the suit. If the government chooses not join the claim, you may still pursue the case but it is much more difficult to win. In the cases where the Government enters and decides to take over the prosecution of the case, the whistleblower remains as a co-plaintiff. When the Justice Department elects not to pursue the case, the whistleblower can proceed alone, but is still working for the United States Government in claiming fraud.
The amount of the award the whistleblower will receive depends on many factors such as the quality of the case, the work of the whistleblower’s attorney to help qui tam case and the amount of evidence and relative risk of the actual whistleblowing. The typical “relator,” is entitled to anywhere between 15-25 percent of the total recovery on behalf of the government. If the government chooses not to intervene the reward is between 25-30% of the recovery.
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