THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT
What is the False Claims Act?
The Federal False Claims Act makes it illegal to submit or cause to be submitted false or fraudulent claims or false statements in relation to false fraudulent claims to the Federal Government for payment.
States, Cities, and Counties also have their own False Claims Acts. Currently, there are 29 States, 3 Cities, and 1 County with their own False Claims Act statutes with corresponding qui tam provisions.
What is qui tam?
The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow a private person, known as a relator, to file a lawsuit for violations of the Act on behalf of the Government. If the case is successful, the relator is entitled to between 15% and 30% of the Government’s recovery from the defendant(s).
Do I need an attorney to file a False Claims Act case?
Under the False Claims Act, the relator is required to hire an attorney.
How do I file a qui tam case?
First, you and your attorney work together to file a complaint under seal. This means that there is no public access to the complaint and no one can access or make a copy of your complaint while it is under seal.
Second, you serve the Government a copy of the filed complaint and a disclosure statement. A disclosure statement is a memorandum that includes all of the evidence, factual information, and the important information known to the relator based on their exposure to the fraud.
If the case concerns just the Federal False Claims Act, then the complaint and disclosure statement are served on the Attorney General of the United States and the United States Attorney for the district in which the complaint was filed. If the case also concerns the State, City, or County False Claims Act, the corresponding Fraud units also receive the complaint and disclosure statement. .
Can I file a qui tam action anonymously?
No. Unlike the SEC, IRS, and CFTC whistleblower programs, you should expect your identity to become public if you decide to file a qui tam lawsuit.
If I file a False Claims Act case, am I protected from retaliation?
Yes. Section 3730(h)(1) of the False Claims Act provides that relators are entitled to the necessary relief if you experience adverse actions as a result of being a whistleblower.
As a qui tam whistleblower, how much money will I be rewarded?
If the Government intervenes in your case and concludes that fraud has occurred, you as the relator are entitled to a portion of the money recovered from the defendant(s). The False Claims Act allows a reward amount between 15 and 25 percent of the money recovered by the Government. The relator’s share is determined by the Government.
Can two or more whistleblowers file a case together?
What is the statute of limitations in a qui tam case?
Six to ten years depending upon circumstances. However, it is always advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Can Levy Konigsberg LLP represent me even though I am located in a different state?
Yes. Levy Konigsberg LLP represents clients all from all over the United States. International whistleblowers may also be eligible for False Claims Act and other whistleblower rewards.
Does The False Claims Act Cover Tax Fraud?
No. The False Claims Act explicitly excludes Tax Fraud. Section 3729(e) states that the Act “does not apply to claims, records, or statements made under the Internal Revenue Code.” However, information regarding tax fraud could qualify for rewards under the IRS whistleblower program and various state False Claims Acts. For more information about Tax Fraud, please visit our Tax Fraud page here.
Does the False Claims Act Cover the Securities Fraud or Commodities Fraud?
No. However, information regarding Securities Fraud or Commodities could qualify for rewards under the SEC whistleblower program or CFTC Whistleblower Program. For more information about Securities Fraud, please visit our Securities Fraud page here. For more information about Commodities Fraud, please visit our Commodities Fraud page here.
What are Levy Konigsberg, LLP’s attorneys’ fees?
Levy Konigsberg LLP represents clients in all whistleblower matters on a contingency fee basis. This means that our attorneys’ fees are a percentage of the whistleblower reward, if any. If your case is not successful, you are not responsible for money we expend for handling your case.
This information is for educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney.