Submitting fraudulent claims to the government can have disastrous consequences, yet individuals and companies do this every day for personal gain. Thankfully, a lawsuit known as a qui tam action can put an end to this illegal, unethical behavior and help the government recover lost funds.
The False Claims Act allows average citizens to bring qui tam lawsuits against parties that defraud the government. These whistleblowers, also known as qui tam relators, are often entitled to a percentage of any money that is recovered.
Examples of False Claims in Qui Tam Cases
The False Claims Act prohibits the submission of false or fraudulent claims for payment to the federal government. A few examples of false claims include:
- Billing for goods or services that were never delivered
- Inflating expenses for reimbursements
- Failing to report overpayments from the government
- Double billing
- Arranging or receiving “kickbacks”
- Making false reports about the quality of a product
- Performing unnecessary medical procedures
Compensation for Whistleblowers in Qui Tam Lawsuits
The term “qui tam” is based on a Latin phrase that essentially means suing for the king and oneself. As the expression suggests, a whistleblower can help the government while receiving compensation for his or her actions in a successful qui tam lawsuit.
In many cases, a qui tam relator is awarded between fifteen and twenty-five percent of the total recovery. The exact percentage is determined by several factors, including the relator’s degree of contribution to the case. This monetary incentive helps encourage whistleblowers to come forward.
When to File a Qui Tam Action
Any private citizen can sue an individual or business and, if successful, recover funds on the government’s behalf in a qui tam action. Without whistleblowers, many instances of government fraud would go unnoticed and unpunished. If you are aware of fraudulent actions against the government, you can do the right thing by working with our attorneys to report the false claims.
Due to the federal statute of limitations, you have a limited time after the date of the violation in which you can file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that potential compensation is only awarded to the first whistleblower.
Some people choose not to file a qui tam lawsuit because they are afraid of retaliation. However, whistleblower retaliation is illegal. There are numerous protections in place for qui tam relators.
However, you will not be able to initiate a qui tam action if:
- Someone has already filed a qui tam action for the same matter
- The government is already aware of a legal proceeding involving the same matter
- You have been criminally convicted of any conduct related to a False Claims Act violation
Contact our Colorado Springs Whistleblower Litigation Attorneys
Are you aware of government fraud? Call 719-694-3000 for a complimentary, no-obligation with the experienced attorneys at Leventhal Lewis. We will confidentially review your case and advise you on your potential next steps.
We know how difficult it is to decide to become a whistleblower. We take your decision seriously, and we will fight for your rights and the best possible outcome in your case. We proudly serve clients from the Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Castle Rock areas of Colorado.