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
Articles on HG.org Related to Qui Tam, False Claims Act
- Protection for Intelligence Agency WhistleblowersWhistleblowers in the intelligence agency locations could require additional protections after the supervisors or management have been exposed for illegal or fraudulent activity. It is important that these persons are safeguarded from retaliation, negative consequences and possible problems form others in the same field.
- Why President Eisenhower’s Dire Warning Is Still RelevantIt’s been well over five decades since the sitting President of the United States issued a grave warning to his fellow Americans as part of his farewell address. Amid the Cold War, the president focused his words on the many threats facing our nation, including the influence of our chief global rival in imposing their ideology and military might.
- Whistleblower Cases in the NewsSometimes, employees are forced to toe the line between doing their job and doing what is morally right. When an applicant applies for a position with a company, they believe the company is following all federal and state government regulations. When an employee gets hired and is subsequently asked to perform unethical duties, they are often confused. Many times, employees fear speaking out because they do not want to lose their job or put themselves or family members in danger.
- Am I Protected as a Whistleblower if Employer’s Criminal Activities Are Not Reported until after I Was Fired?Before blowing the whistle on a supervisor or manager, it is important to ensure the employee is protected from the action. Even if the person was fired for an unrelated matter, it is imperative that the rights of the worker are protected from retaliation and adverse consequences.
- What Is a Whistleblower?The term may be familiar to most people but they may not understand the definition of a whistleblower. Whistleblowers are an important part of our society and they can be compensated for their claims.
- Can my Employer Withhold my Pension after I Lost a Whistleblower Case?When a case is lost where an individual has attempted to reveal illegal or corrupt practices in the company, it is important not to admit defeat. There are other options available. However, if all requirements have been met for benefits through the business, and these have not been received, this could be other illegal actions taken on the part of the organization.
- What Is Healthcare Fraud and How Can You Spot It?Healthcare has been a dominant subject in American life for many years. We talk at length about quality of care, medical errors, insurance coverage and a host of other topics relevant to the industry. Meanwhile, one of the most important aspects of our healthcare goes comparatively unnoticed.
- Kickbacks and Fraud in Our Health Care SystemThe health care industry in the United States is plagued by fraud, abuse and waste. In fact, it costs us up to $60 billion every year. People often think of fraud as being identity theft or fraudulent billing practices, and while those things are certainly a big problem in our current system, fraud often occurs in the form of “kickbacks.”
- Getting the Government on Your Side as a WhistleblowerA whistleblower is a person who brings to light information that uncovers fraud, criminal activity or other wrongdoing. Whistleblower claims are the legal avenue which whistleblowers take to report this fraud. Many of the individuals who file these claims do so on behalf of the government, meaning that they are coming forward with information about fraud that drains taxpayer money.
- How to Avoid Employee DisputesBusiness owners are in perpetual fear of being the target of litigation. Whether it is a customer that falls in the store or an employee who alleges wrongdoing against the employer, there are steps that businesses can take to avoid such disputes. It is also important to understand why these disputes arise in the first place.
- All Employment and Labor Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Employment and Labor including: discrimination, employee benefits, employees rights, ERISA, human resources law, labor relations, outsourcing, sexual harassment, whistleblower, workers compensation and wrongful termination.
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.