Qui Tam, False Claims Act Law
Qui Tam law is part of Whistleblower law and is a type of civil litigation, which involves lawsuits filed by private citizens who have knowledge of acts of fraud against the government, committed by an individual or a business. The phrase “qui tam” is Latin, meaning “who as well” and referred to old English lawsuits where a person sued on behalf of the King as well as for himself; and as such, these types of suits are brought for “the government as well as the plaintiff”.
Qui tam lawsuits are brought by the whistleblower, who is called the “relator”, in his/her name on behalf of the government. They are filed under federal and state False Claims Acts (FCA). A relator in these suits is eligible to receive a percentage of the proceeds from a successful suit against the fraudulent party (no more than 30 percent, and usually between 15 and 25), as well as reasonable attorneys’ costs and fees. The purpose of this is to deter fraud and to assist in recouping stolen government funds, and is meant to serve the public interest. The Department of Justice has the option of joining a qui tam action, should it choose to.
Unlike whistleblower retaliation claims, qui tam claims do not require that the individual bringing suit must have been personally harmed by the defendant’s actions. Instead, the filing of a qui tam claim requires that federal funds be involved and that the alleged fraud be substantial in nature and not based on technical violations or errors. Additionally, the relator must have personal, original credible information about the alleged fraud.
Common areas or businesses where this type of fraud occurs include Medicare, Medicaid and Tri-Care providers, nursing homes and home healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, government grants and research projects, weapons and defense contractors, environmental contracts and low-income housing. The federal False Claims Act excludes tax fraud, stating that it “does not apply to claims, records, or statements made under the Internal Revenue Code.” However, the recently enacted IRS Whistleblower law allows informants who meet certain conditions, to obtain a monetary award for blowing the whistle on tax dodgers, when the monetary amount alleged totals at least $2 million. (See the link for IRS Whistleblower – Informant Award under US Whistleblower Law for more information.)
There are many different specific provisions required in a qui tam claim, and qui tam lawsuits can be very complicated. Most courts have ruled that a relator must obtain an attorney to file a qui tam suit. This is due to the fact that these suits are brought on behalf of the U.S. government, which cannot be represented in court by a non-attorney. Retaining an attorney experienced in this area of law can make all the difference in obtaining a successful result and maximum compensation. Copyright HG.org
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Qui Tam, False Claims Act - US
- ABA - Civil False Claims Act (FCA)
The Civil False Claims Act (FCA) is the fastest growing area of federal litigation, particularly because of its unique qui tam enforcement mechanism. Amendments in 2009 made this law even more powerful. This Eighth National Institute will bring together experts from all areas--DOJ, state AG offices, Federal agencies, leading defense and plaintiff firms--to discuss this ever-growing area of litigation and enforcement.
- Common Types of Qui Tam Fraud - Quitam Online
Fraud under the False Claims Act means that a contractor has knowingly presented a false claim for payment to the United States. The fraud can occur wherever federal or state monies are directly or indirectly used to purchase services or goods. Fraud most often occurs in areas where the United States is spending the most money. In the late 1980s, many cases were brought for fraud in connection with the defense industry.
- False Claims Act - Wikipedia
The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729–3733, also called the "Lincoln Law") is an American federal law which allows people who are not affiliated with the government to file actions against federal contractors claiming fraud against the government. The Act provides a legal tool to counteract fraudulent billings turned in to the Federal Government.
- Qui Tam - Wikipedia
In common law, a writ of qui tam is a writ whereby a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed. Its name is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself."
- State False Claims Act Reviews - Department of Health and Human Services
As enacted by section 6031 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, section 1909 of the Social Security Act (Act) provides a financial incentive for States to enact false claims acts that establish liability to the State for the submission of false or fraudulent claims to the State’s Medicaid program.
- State False Claims Acts
A guide to False Claims Act Statutes of the various states.
- US Code - Civil Actions for False Claims
A person may bring a civil action for a violation of section 3729 for the person and for the United States Government. The action shall be brought in the name of the Government. The action may be dismissed only if the court and the Attorney General give written consent to the dismissal and their reasons for consenting.
- US Code - Civil Investigative Demands
Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that any person may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material or information relevant to a false claims law investigation, the Attorney General may, before commencing a civil proceeding under section 3730 or other false claims law, issue in writing and cause to be served upon such person, a civil investigative demand.
This site provides information about False Claims Act qui tam statutes that allow whistleblowers to actually step into the shoes of the government and seek damages on behalf of the government. These False Claims Acts or “Qui Tam Laws” exist at the federal level and have been adopted by 20 states.
Organizations Related to Qui Tam and False Claims Act
- Project on Government Oversight
POGO is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposures corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and ethical federal government.
QuiTamOnline.com is a network of attorneys who have recovered over $150 million in taxpayers' money falsely billed to the United States by government contractors. This website explains the "Qui Tam" provisions of the federal False Claims Act. If you have been contemplating blowing the whistle on fraud against the federal government, this site will help you assemble the information you need to bring your case to a lawyer for evaluation and possible filing. It will also help you decide whether filing a suit is the right thing for you to do–or whether some other approach to the problem might be better.
- Taxpayers Against Fraud
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund is a nonprofit, public interest organization dedicated to combating fraud against the Federal Government through the promotion and use of the Federal False Claims Act and its qui tam provisions.