Whistleblowers Who Expose Fraud Against the Government Can Receive Substantial Compensation
Because of the size of the federal government and the massive amount of money that flows through federal agencies, federal programs are susceptible to fraud by businesses and individuals. The False Claims Act, which was passed during the Civil War, is a federal statute designed to encourage disclosure of attempts to defraud government entities and protect "whistleblowers" who assist the government in recovering public funds. Our Qui Tam Lawyers at Montlick and Associates represent courageous individuals who disclose attempts to defraud the federal government.
Under the False Claims Act (FCA), whistleblowers, who are often employees of companies engaged in practices to defraud government entities, can be compensated for taxpayer dollars they assist the Federal government in recovering. The types of fraudulent activity targeted under the FCA include but are not limited to improper receipt of government funds or evasion of the obligation to pay money owed to the government. Common examples include Medicaid, Medicare and defense contractor fraud. There also are a number of FCA claims each year involving large pharmaceutical companies.
Qui Tam actions are FCA claims that are filed by private citizens on behalf of the government. An individual with knowledge of fraud who files the suit is entitled to a share of the funds recovered by the government. After the claim is filed, the Department of Justice will investigate the allegation for up to sixty days or file a petition to extend the investigation. Under a FCA action, treble damages can be recovered against the defendant along with an award to the whistleblower that typically ranges from 15 to 25 percent of the amount recovered in the qui tam lawsuit.
While the primary function of the FCA is to recover public funds, the law also is designed to discourage fraud and unethical conduct by corporate America. Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Howard Berman noted: "Studies estimate the fraud deterred thus far by the qui tam provisions runs into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Instead of encouraging or rewarding a culture of deceit, corporations now spend substantial sums on sophisticated and meaningful compliance programs. That change in the corporate culture – and in the value-based decisions that ordinary Americans make daily in the workplace – may be the law's most durable legacy."
If you have questions about the False Claims Act, our Atlanta qui tam attorneys can answer your questions and guide you through the claims process. Our attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.
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