Under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA), private citizens can file a lawsuit on behalf of the United States government and share in the financial recovery. This is known as a qui tam lawsuit. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive a portion — typically between 15-25% — of any recovered funds.
Whistleblowers are protected by the FCA against being fired, demoted, suspended or threatened by employers as a result of filing an FCA complaint. If an employer is found to have retaliated against a whistleblower, they may be liable for back pay, interest and any other compensation due as a result of damage or loss the whistleblower may have suffered as a result of filing an FCA claim.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there was more than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgments obtained against individuals and companies for FCA cases in 2016. Whistleblowers were awarded a total of $519 million in claims.
If you have information about a company that has been fraudulent in their actions, you should first contact an experienced whistleblower attorney before deciding if you should come forward and make a claim. The attorney will be able to find out if you are the first to file, which is very important, as there is a rule that prevents a whistleblower from filing a claim if someone else has already filed. If you have information about a company, you shouldn’t wait to speak with an attorney. You should call immediately because if someone else files before you, you could miss out.
Qui tam litigation is a highly technical, complex area of the law. If you are considering filing a qui tam action, you should choose an attorney with the experience and resources to see your case through to the end.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any FCA claim. If you have a question about filing a False Claims Act case, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.