Qui Tam Whistleblowers

Doyle Dennis LLP represents whistleblowers who have information about military contractors or corporations who have engaged in fraudulent activity against the U.S. government. Frequently, people-usually employees or former employees-who have insider information about fraud against the government are able to bring claims against the company. A qui tam lawsuit allows a whistle blower to make claims to protect the United States government from fraud and abuse by contractors.

What is the False Claims Act?

The United States originally enacted 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733 – commonly known as the False Claims Act (FCA) – in 1863 in order to prevent contractor fraud during the Civil War. As part of this important legislation, Congress allowed private citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the government against defense contractors who have committed fraud.  These suits are commonly referred to as “qui tam” lawsuits. In combination with this right, these private citizens may also recover a portion of the recovery of the defrauded recovery.  In addition to this whistleblower right, Congress also protected employees who report this fraud from being retaliated against by employers, contractors, or agents.

What type of information is necessary to make a whistleblower claim?

Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower may report fraud under a government contract, program, or statute.  This may include things like, billing for services not actually rendered; knowingly submitting false claims; obtaining or giving a kickback for a referral, overbilling, fraud, miscoding, deceptive marketing, and other types of fraud.

The False Claims Act applies to all industries within the United States, including: healthcare entities; military contractors; labor companies; technology contractors; scientific research; insurance carriers; and others.  It may also include reports of violations of federal tax laws or the foreign corrupt practices act.

How do I file a complaint?

          A False Claims Act complaint must first be filed under seal in federal court.  During this period, the U.S. Attorney’s office will investigate whether it will intervene in the lawsuit and pursue the case.  In addition, during this time period,  the information contained in the complaint should be kept confidential.

What is the deadline to file a claim?

          The False claims act has a statute of limitations of 6 years.

What if my employer retaliates against me?

          In addition to awards for complaints of fraud, the False Claims Act also provides important whistleblower protections, which make it illegal to retaliate against an employee who makes a complaint under the False Claims Act.

What damages can I obtain?

          If the government intervenes in the case, the whistleblower may receive a reward of 15 percent to 25 percent of the recovery.  If the government does not intervene, the whistleblower may receive between 25 percent to 30 percent of the recovery.