When a person or company tries to defraud the government, they can make a bundle of profit – illegally, of course. Further, when an employee or vendor of that company gets wind of the potential fraud, he or she stands to make quite a sum of money, too.
However, if you want to be first in line to be compensated if the government agency wins its lawsuit and proves the fraud, you must be the first one to actually “blow the whistle.”
According to the False Claims Act, only one person can be compensated in a qui tam action (whistleblower lawsuit). This means that if someone reported the fraud before you, you won’t get anything out of the claim. This remains true even if the second person has more information than the first.
The real problem comes in, says Ross Begelman of qui tam law firm Begelman & Orlow, when you file a whistleblower lawsuit but have no idea if anyone has filed a similar claim. Whistleblower lawsuits are filed under seal and only the government agency will know if another similar case is file.
It’s critically important to speak to an attorney who can a) help you determine if you have a legitimate whistleblower claim and b) get your paperwork in order quickly so you can be the first to file.
Contact Begelman Melletz and Orlow for a review of your information. We will help you determine if you have a legitimate whistleblower case and, if so, we will be by your side as we fight to uncover the fraud.