A QUI TAM ACTION IS…
Any action brought by a person against a government contractor that the individual suspects, or knows, is committing an act of fraud against the U.S. government. The qui tam provision of the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), allows individual citizens to file fraud charges, and bring suit, in the name of the U.S. government, against government contractors and others who receive government funds. The qui tam provision allows the person pursuing the action to share in any money recovered. Such recovery can range from 15 to 30% of the government’s total recovery. The FCA also prohibits an employer from retaliating against employees who report what they reasonably believe to constitute fraud.
‘Whistleblower’ can mean any person who reveals misconduct by his or her employer or another business or entity. The misconduct may be in the form of breaking the law, committing fraud, or corruption. That type of fraud can be a violation of the False Claims Act, or similar state and local laws. And a whistleblower who exposes fraud on the government can bring a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government, and can receive a share of the recovery as his or her reward.
In order for a whistleblower (also known as a “relator” in the context of the FCA) to bring a qui tam action that is based upon publicly disclosed information, that person must legally qualify as an “original source.” See Rockwell International Corp. v. United States.
The False Claims Act
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 of filing such actions is informally called “whistleblowing” . If you allow us to handle the FCA claim you stand to receive a portion (usually about 15-25 percent) of any recovered damages. The Act provides a legal tool to counteract fraudulent billings turned in to the Federal Government. Claims under the law have been filed by persons with insider knowledge of false claims which have typically involved health care, military, or other government spending programs.
The provision allows a private person, known as a “relator,” to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States, where the private detective or other person has information that the named defendant has knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims to the United States. The relator need not have been personally harmed by the defendant’s conduct; instead, the relator is recognized as receiving legal standing to sue by way of a “partial assignment” to the relator of the injury to the government caused by the alleged fraud. The information must not be public knowledge, unless the relator qualifies as an “original source. See, e.g. Rockwell International Corp. v. United States, No. 05-1272, 549 U.S. 457 (2007).
CALL MICHELLE M. FUNKENBUSCH IF YOUR EMPLOYER IS ENGAGING IN ANY OF THESE FRAUDULENT PRACTICES UNDERMINING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND THE TAXPAYERS (us)!
- Double billing
- Over charging
- Final billing for unfinished contracts
- Delivering poor quality products
- Unnecessary services or product features
- Excess markup on outside vendor products or services
- Dubious quality control practices
- Non-conformance to federal wage and employment laws
- Deliberate production or delivery delay for contracted services
- Financial bookkeeping not in compliance with GAAP
- Non-conformance to contract specifications
- Wasted university study and inappropriate travel grants