Qui Tam Lawsuits: Good for the Government & for You
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Qui Tam , or whistleblower, lawsuits are brought by those who discover fraudulent activity against the government. While often misconstrued, whistleblower lawsuits are good for the government – and good for you.
The average worker is best equipped to expose fraud
Qui Tam lawsuits have saved the government over $10 billion in the past 15 to 20 years. Unfortunately, experts say that for as many Qui Tam lawsuits get filed, even more do not. We all recognize that government means bureaucracy and sometimes, that bureaucracy results in companies taking advantage of the government. It’s the everyday worker who is best equipped to expose that fraudulent activity since the government may not be able to of its own accord.
Exposing fraud has a domino effect
Qui Tam lawsuits not only expose fraud against the government, some say they also have a domino effect by curtailing unfair business practices, punishing those who have broken the law and even in protecting the country’s national interests as less money in the government’s till will likely result in higher taxes for the rest of us.
Rewarding the whistleblower
The False Claims Act, which is the Qui Tam statute itself, provides for a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000 per violation of the Act. Most Qui Tam lawsuits result in hundreds or thousands of violations, which adds up to a great deal of money. In fact, Qui Tam lawsuits in the healthcare industry – one of the most notorious for defrauding the government – average $50 million each. The whistleblower is typically rewarded with between 15 – 25 percent of that amount.
How to recognize a Qui Tam lawsuit
Experts say that potential whistleblowers should be vigilant and notice what is happening with their companies in relation to government contracts. They say fraud can be very straight forward, such as overcharging for a product, or more discreet, such as providing a product that isn’t what it should be.
Once recognized, experts also say that the discovery should be kept confidential because under the False Claims Act, the first person to the courthouse is the only one who can file the lawsuit. So, discussing the fraud with co-workers or friends generally isn’t wise.
If you’ve experienced fraudulent activity against the government, contact an experienced qui tam attorney to discuss your situation. Consultations are strictly confidential and are free of charge and without any obligation. To contact an attorney, please click here.