If 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.