A whistleblower is someone who becomes aware of fraudulent or illegal activity within a company and takes necessary steps to report it to relevant authorities.
In doing so, that person may be afforded particular protections under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act is in place to encourage whistleblowers to come forward and bring to light any suspected or actual violations of the FCA’s provisions. The existing law was enhanced with the qui tam statute in 1986.
Private citizens are allowed to bring qui tam actions in federal court against organizations or individuals suspected of FCA violations. In certain cases, not only are these whistleblowers afforded protections from discrimination and harassment by their employers, but they may also be able to recover up to 30% of the total damages obtained in the case. The most common qui tam actions include:
- Knowingly mis-charging or overcharging the government.
- Submitting false benefit details to the government.
- Submitting false records and statements to the government.
- Intentionally billing the government for services that are not provided.
- Other actions that led to cheating, defrauding, or stealing form the government.
What matters in these cases is whether or not the employee in question had reasonable belief that fraud had occurred. Gathering proof and submitting it directly to a relevant authority may be the first step in such a case, only to be followed by talking with an experienced whistleblower lawyer.
A qui tam action can be brought forward by any individual who has information or knowledge about a fraudulent or false claim being provided to the government in order to obtain payment or to decrease an obligation to pay. A knowledgeable qui tam attorney should be consulted with immediately if you believe you have grounds to pursue a legal case like this – contact Begelman Orlow Attorneys at Law today, we successfully represent whistleblowers with dedication and years of experience on our side. Don’t wait, contact our office today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.