False Claims Act cases, involving an informant blowing the whistle on fraudulent activity against the government, are civil cases involving business dealings. However, often, there are criminal aspects to the case that don’t always get rooted out when the qui tam case is first brought.
Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, announced last fall that her department will be reviewing all False Claim Act complaints for possible criminal prosecution. In fact, new rules require the Civil Division to share all complaints with her department to facilitate review. If her investigators see fit, a criminal investigation will be launched concurrent to the civil FCA case.
Ms. Caldwell said that her division has some tools at its disposal that will come in very handle in FCA cases, including informants and the ability to conduct undercover investigations, search warrants and wire taps.
The DOJ’s Criminal Division has always been permitted to review cases but was never required to do so. Caldwell’s announcement that the department will make it more difficult for federal contractors to avoid criminal prosecution that could impose up to five years in prison and stiff fines for this type of illegal activity.
It is imperative that all potential whistleblowers contact a qualified, experienced qui tam lawyer who can advise you how to proceed with your information and case.
The attorneys at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. have been guiding whistleblowers through their cases successfully for decades. We understand qui tam law and will put the full force of our firm behind your case. Contact our offices for a consolation today.