Under the qui tam provisions in the federal False Claims Act (FCA), employees, corporations, and private or public interest organizations may sue a company that defrauds the federal government. The legal action is brought on behalf of the government and the whistleblower, and an individual who brings a qui tam claim may stand to receive a sizable reward.
When a lawsuit is filed under the FCA, the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorney General may intervene. In such cases, attorneys at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, work to protect the rights and interests of whistleblowers, as well as work with authorities in federal litigation. If the government decides not to intervene, then the whistleblower lawsuit may still be prosecuted independently.
Many whistleblower claims involve false pricing and failure to provide goods and services that were promised in contracts with the government. Kickbacks are also a common issue, as are illegal tax schemes.
The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) is another statute that allows for whistleblowers to benefit from reporting fraud in the financial services and banking industry. Like FCA whistleblowers, FIRREA whistleblowers may receive a significant portion of the money recovered by the Justice Department.
State laws also provide for qui tam claims against companies that defraud state governments.
Since the mid-1980s, whistleblowers have received more than $2.5 billion under the False Claims Act, and qui tam lawsuits have led to the recovery of more than $15 billion by the federal government. In general, these claims should be made in a timely manner. If you have questions about the FCA, FIRREA and qui tam recoveries, then our whistleblower litigation overview may prove help.