Qui Tam or private attorney general actions in the United States as a provision of the False Claims Act of 1863. Also known as the “Lincoln Law”, it was enacted during the Civil War so that citizens who discovered an act of fraud against the government, particularly by defense and medical contractors, could sue the offender on behalf of the government. In exchange, the whistleblower who reports the fraudulent activity is compensated with a percentage of the recovery by the government for his or her efforts.
Anyone who knowingly accepts an improper payment, avoids payment, or makes a false claim for payment from the government may be guilty of fraud. The False Claims Act is intended to encourage citizens to step forward with any knowledge that they may have about fraudulent activity so that the government can prevent the waste of federal funding. Qui Tam lawsuits most frequently involve either the health care industry or defense contractors, but many other industries have been known to commit federal fraud against the federal government as well.
Protections and Incentives
Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower is offered certain protections and incentives in exchange for information regarding fraudulent activity against the government. A whistleblower may remain anonymous throughout the case and will be offered employment protection so that reporting fraud does not disrupt his or her job and income. In addition, a plaintiff who brings forward evidence of fraud and initiates a Qui Tam lawsuit on behalf of the government may be entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the total funds recovered from the fraudulent party.
For More Information
Anyone who is aware of fraudulent activity being committed against the federal government may initiate a lawsuit on its behalf under Qui Tam law. For more information about reporting fraud against the government, contact the whistleblower and Qui Tam lawyers of the Burk Law Firm, P.C. today by calling 512-306-9828.