Qui Tam FAQs
This Qui Tam FAQ page will help you to understand what Qui Tam is and how the False Claims Act works.
How did the False Claims Act become law in the United States?
In 1863, during the Civil War, Congress passed the False Claims Act (also known as the Lincoln Law). The government sought to encourage individuals to blow the whistle against fraud perpetrated by defense contractors. The law has endured a history of amendments.
In more recent times, the 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act strengthened the law and made it more possible for individuals to bring cases.
What is necessary to file a qui tam action?
A formal statement must be provided by the whistleblower to the government in a qui tam action. The statement should include any documentation or recordings the whistleblower has. The law says the whistleblower should provide the government with substantially all the evidence the plaintiff has to bolster the case. The narrative should be as detailed as possible, with reference to any known verifiable sources or witnesses. This evidence will be weighed by the government to make the decision of whether to join the lawsuit. The plaintiff can proceed, however, even if the government decides not to join the suit.
How much is the plaintiff entitled to if a qui tam case succeeds?
Acting alone, the citizen calling attention to the fraud can receive proceeds as much as 30 percent of the total recovered. If the government acts to join prosecution of the case, the range is between 15 percent and 25 percent of the recovery.
What types of fraud are susceptible to a qui tam action?
Virtually, any time the government is defrauded of money or services, a qui tam action can be filed by a whistleblower.
Must a federal qui tam be filed in Washington, D.C.?
No, any Court in the United States may be appropriate to file a qui tam case if that court has jurisdiction over the defendant. However, False Claims Act procedure also requires that The US Attorney’s office in the Court’s Jurisdiction, as well as the main Department of Justice office in Washington, DC be appropriately notified of the suit.
State False Claims Act violations are determined by the many state laws modeled on the federal law. Potential plaintiffs should find an attorney that is experienced with handling fraud cases. Attorneys like David Benowitz and others at his law firm have years of experience trying these types of cases.
Qui tam litigation – how it works and helps whistleblowers
The False Claims Act is the most powerful whistleblower statute in federal law. It offers the individual a legal tool to fight against companies and organizations that engage in fraudulent activities.
The importance of a whistleblower
Nobody knows the true amount of fraud committed against the federal government. While the government itself uses investigators and auditors to uncover such wrongdoing they need the information only an insider can provide. The False Claims Act makes it possible for the private individual to point out where fraud is occurring and be rewarded for the effort.
Other Frequently Asked Questions: