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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.

What Determines Who Pays Whistleblower Attorney Fees?

Whistleblower Attorney Fees

Whistleblower Attorney FeesIf you’re wondering how whistleblower attorney fees work, and how much a qui tam lawsuit might cost you, the short answer is virtually nothing. While we can’t say it will never cost you anything, there is no initial charge to bring a case. In the event you do need to pay costs, it usually comes directly from the money recovered by the lawsuit.

Here is an overview of how the process usually works:

The Start: Filing a False Claims Act Case

The costs to get started on an FCA or qui tam case are relatively small, including a small federal filing fee and possible administrative expenses. However, when you file a qui tam case, your lawyer is likely to ask you to agree to something called a contingent fee arrangement. This means in the event you win your case, your lawyer will both get a share of the recovered funds, as well as the cost of fees and expenses.

It’s also possible the court will order the defendant to pay statutory fees if your settlement or case verdict is favorable. Regardless of which scenario occurs, you can file a case and carry it through to the end without needing to pay any money up front.

Government Intervention: Whether Uncle Sam Decides to Join Your Case

FCA claims are a bit different than the normal court case or civil litigation. When you file, you inform the government of your case, but not the defendant. You must inform them of the particular facts surrounding your case, so the government can investigate the claims. The entire time the government is conducting its investigation, the case is considered “under seal”; this means you can’t talk to anyone about it, except your lawyer.

Based on the results of their investigation, the government will then decide to join (or not). If they join, they will work with your attorney to settle the claims in your case. This also significantly increases the chances the court will find in your favor during the proceedings. The government may decide to take over the prosecution, and determine whether they are willing to settle or take it to full trial. Your portion of the recovery will be between 15% and 25% of the recovered amount, and you will pay your lawyer out of the proceeds.

In most cases, the government decides not join, or intervene, in a case. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t proceed. Many cases have been successfully settled without government intervention. In the event you decide to carry it forward, you and your lawyer will have another conversation about likely outcome and cost burden during the proceedings. Without the government’s help, you may need to cover some costs during the trial, but if you win the recovery, you’ll get as much as 30% of the recovered amount. You can then recoup your costs from the proceeds and pay any outstanding legal invoices.

More Questions on Whistleblower Attorney Fees?

No problem! Contact the skilled attorneys at Bothwell Law Group by calling 770.643.1606, and ask about how we handle whistleblower attorney fees.