Whistleblower Qui Tam Actions
The False Claims Act provides private persons with a civil cause of action against businesses that knowingly submit false claims for payment to the federal government. Such a lawsuit, known as a “qui tam” action, is typically brought by a current or former employee of the business. The offending entity may be required to pay treble damages plus penalties of $5,000-$10,000 per false claim. If the action is successful, the plaintiff may be entitled to as much as 25%-30% of the proceeds of the recovery or settlement, with the balance being paid over to the government.
Typical situations which may give rise to qui tam actions include the submission of false claims by government contractors and fraudulent billing by health care organizations to Medicare. In order to encourage employee whistleblowers to come forward, the False Claims Act also provides provisions protecting them from retaliatory action by an employer, including provisions requiring wrongfully terminated or demoted employees to be reinstated at the same level of seniority with back pay.
If you are aware of an individual or business that is submitting false claims for payment to the federal government, please contact our office so that we can advise you with regard to your legal options.