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Are the Rewards Worth the Risk for Qui Tam Litigation?

qui tam litigation

risk for Qui Tam LitigationIf you are wondering whether you should move forward with qui tam litigation, it is important to understand the facts of the law. A portion of the False Claims Act, known as the qui tam law, allows private citizens to file a complaint against an individual, organization, or contractor who is committing fraud against the United States government.

Fraud can take many forms. Do you have knowledge that your physician is billing Medicare for services you weren’t provided? You can report this fraud under the qui tam law. Or, if you have knowledge that a contractor employed by the government is abusing their authority or grossly misusing government funds, this can also be reported under the qui tam law.

Becoming a whistleblower is not without risk. There are laws in place to protect individuals who report fraud from retaliation such as termination or discrimination in the workplace. However, there are still consequences to publicly reporting fraud.

What risks come with qui tam litigation?

As a private citizen reporting fraud, your identity is only kept confidential until the lawsuit is filed. Once the lawsuit becomes public knowledge, your identity will be revealed along with the details of the fraud. Because of this, you will gain a public reputation for being a whistleblower. Even though many will admire for your actions, some will not see your actions as admirable. This could affect your career, as your employers may see you as untrustworthy or loose-lipped.

Depending on the exact details of your lawsuit, friends and family may not approve of your actions. They may hold it against you, or think you are only reporting the fraud because you want the money.

Are the rewards worth the risk for qui tam litigation?

It is ultimately up to you to decide if you believe the rewards are worth the risk for qui tam litigation. If the government is able to recover fraudulently obtained funds, you are eligible for a reward for your actions. The qui tam law indicates that private citizens who report fraud in a qui tam lawsuit could receive between 15 and 25 percent of the recovered funds.

You could receive a financial reward. Also, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you played a role in recovering government funds. Fraud costs the government millions of dollars each year. Honest and brave citizens play a crucial role in recovering those funds.

Are you a private citizen with evidence of fraud against the United States government? You can become a whistleblower under the qui tam law. With the help of an experienced whistleblower law attorney, you can file a lawsuit on behalf of the government and play an important role in recovering illegally obtained government funds.

Call 770.643.1606 to find out more about qui tam litigation by contacting Bothwell Law Group.

5 Most Basic Facts You Need to Know about False Claims Act Settlements

False Claims Act Settlements

False Claims Act SettlementsFalse Claims Act Settlements, also known as qui tam settlements, are quite distinct from the standard litigation process. Here’s a basic primer about the particulars, and some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

What Is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act allows individual civilians to file suit on behalf of Uncle Sam to recover funds paid out by the government under fraudulent circumstances. It also protects the individuals exposing the fraud (aka- whistleblowers) from any retaliation from their employer as a result of filing the lawsuit.

What Types of Claims Are Covered Under the FCA?

There are three basic types of claims:

  1. A classic false claim: when information and documentation submitted to the government is falsified or incorrect.
  2. Document falsification: using a fraudulent or falsified document to obtain payment from the government.
  3. Reverse false claims: failure to return funds to the government that were paid, but not owed.

What Components Make Up an Offense Under the False Claims Act?

The following three terms must be met for a suit to succeed:

  1. The company in question presented a payment request or claim to the government that was false.
  2. The claim and document itself were
  3. The company knew the claim was false or fraudulent and presented it anyway.

It’s important to note that payment from the government is NOT one of the required conditions for being considered an offense. The mere act of knowingly making a fraudulent request for payment is enough to create cause for a lawsuit.

What Are the Potential Damages and Penalties If a Defendant Is Found Guilty?

For starters, the government is entitled to three times the amount of its loss. On top of that, there are penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 per incident. The person who originally filed suit (the Relator) may be entitled to a portion of the proceeds as well: up to 30% of the recovered amount, depending on the court’s judgment.

How Does a Qui Tam Lawsuit Differ from a Regular Lawsuit?

There are some differences, but here are a few of the biggest ones:

  1. It’s filed under seal. This means it’s registered in secret. Only you, your attorney, and the U.S. government know a case has been filed.
  2. The government has a right to join (intervene) in your case. When the government joins in, it means they believe you have a strong case, and they will carry it through to the end on its own. However, if the government declines to join your case, you are still allowed to see it through to the end on your own; their participation is not a requirement to file suit or receive a judgment.
  3. You don’t pay your attorney up front. Usually, the attorney will take a percentage of any of the amount recovered. In the event the government declines to join your case, you and your attorney will then need to agree on how to proceed, and whether you will need to cover any of their fees until the final settlement.

Still Have Questions about False Claims Act Settlements?

For more information on False Claims Act settlements, contact the skilled attorneys at Bothwell Law Group by calling 770.643.1606 today.