What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act is a statute that creates liability for the presentment of false claims to the Government for payment. The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow an individual, known as a whistleblower or relator, to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the Government against corporations and individuals who have violated the False Claims Act and receive a portion of any recovery as an award.
The Federal Government has a Federal False Claims Act to prosecute fraud against the Federal Government. Many States, Cities, and even a County have their own False Claims Act statute.
Why do we have the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act was originally enacted in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln to combat defense contract fraud. During the Civil War, the Union contracted with private companies to supply equipment to the soldiers to fight the Confederacy. However, these private companies saw this as an opportunity to get rich, not an opportunity to help win the war. Instead of receiving horses and guns, gun powder, and ammunition, Union soldiers were sent out to the battlefield with donkeys and rifles that could not fire. In response, the original False Claims Act was enacted to reward whistleblowers who came forward with evidence of fraud and the Union went on to win the war.
Today, fraud against the Government is costing the taxpayers billions of dollars each year. While Government Contract Fraud, including Defense Contract Fraud and Small Business Fraud, still exist, the most egregious fraud is in the form of Healthcare Fraud, including Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud, Pharmaceutical Fraud, Stark Law Violations, and Anti-Kickback Statute Violations. Other prominent types of False Claims Act violations include Mortgage Fraud and Education Fraud.
Where can I learn more?
For more information on these specific types of False Claims Act violations, please review our in-depth pages to learn about common violations under the False Claims Act:
What can I do to stop False Claims Act Violations?
If you have knowledge and proof that a company or individual is submitting false claims, then give us a call today for a free consultation and case review with an experienced whistleblower attorney.
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.