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What To Do If You Suspect Your Employer Is Cheating the Government

UPDATED: February 26, 2020

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You should talk with an attorney and consider filing a whistleblower lawsuit. Another name for a lawsuit brought by a whistleblower is qui tam. The term qui tam is short for “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro sic ipso in hoc parte sequitur,” which, in Latin, means “who as well for the king as well for himself sues in this matter.”

Qui tam cases are brought by private individuals who are suing on behalf of the federal government charging fraud against government contractors and others who receive government funds. If successful, the government gets its money back and the individual bringing the action receives a portion of the recovery amount.

These actions are authorized by the Federal Civil False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3729. Private individuals are, in essence, authorized to act as private attorneys general. The False Claims Act was passed in 1863 and has been called Lincoln’s Law, the Informer’s Act, or Qui Tam statute. In 1986 it was strengthened to make it easier and more beneficial for private individuals to file suit.

Today, many states and the District of Columbia, and the city of Chicago all have their own false claims statutes that allow them to recover money at the state and local level. The states now have false claims statutes include:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

To find out about filing a Qui Tam suit, see Filing a Whistleblower or Qui Tam Action.

For a brief overview of the qui tam lawsuits, see Qui Tam Lawsuits Involve Any Form of Fraud against the Government.

Click here to find a Qui Tam attorney.

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