Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuits are filed on behalf of the government by private citizens for false claims or fraud. False claims generally include the following:
- not delivering goods that were sold;
- overcharging for goods or services;
- making false statements about the quality of a product; and
- improperly testing a product or any other scheme that is designed to defraud the government.
Whistleblowers may file Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act if the case involves fraud against the federal government. A number of states also have Qui Tam statutes that allow the filing of whistleblower lawsuits if fraud involves state or local governments.
Federal Qui Tam Lawsuits
The Qui Tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act allow citizens to file whistleblower lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. Government against any individual or corporation that fraudulently uses government funds. Whistleblowers who do so receive 15 to 25 percent of rewards from cases that are accepted by the U.S. Department of Justice. If the Department of Justice does not go forward with a case, a whistleblower can go forward on his own with the assistance of a Qui Tam lawyer. In such case, the whistleblower is entitled to 25 to 40 percent of the entire reward, unless a judge determines that media or the government brought forth more critical information than the whistleblower. In those cases, the judge may reduce the whistleblower reward at his discretion.
The most common types of fraud prosecuted under the Qui Tam provisions of the False Claims Act include:
- Health Care Fraud
- Medicare Fraud
- Medicaid Fraud
- Department of Defense Fraud
- Government construction and Loan Fraud
State Qui Tam Lawsuits
Some states have enacted Qui Tam laws for fraud that involves Medicaid funds or money from state and local agencies. As is the case with the federal provisions, most state Qui Tam laws require that the whistleblower file a lawsuit against the party accused of fraud. Some states also allow the whistleblower to receive a share of any recovery.
States with Qui Tam laws that cover a broad range of fraud include:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- District of Columbia
The following states have false claims laws that apply only to fraud involving Medicaid or other state healthcare funds:
- New Hampshire
Legal Help for Whistleblowers
The whistleblower lawyers at Gilman Law LLP have a broad range of experience with both federal and state Qui Tam laws and whistleblower laws. If you’re looking for help exposing fraud and corruption, please contact a Qui Tam lawyer at Gilman Law LLP today for your free and confidential case evaluation by completing our online form on the left or call Toll Free at 1-888-252-0048.