What is Qui Tam Law?
Qui tam claims demand experienced attorneys with a strong track record
Government agencies take government fraud and corruption involving taxpayer money very seriously. That’s why the government often offers a reward to individuals who report criminal activity intended to defraud the government. The system for financially rewarding whistleblowers for reporting government fraud involves “qui tam law.”
If you suspect government fraud or corruption, make sure you fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Make sure you talk to an attorney at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., in Houston as soon as possible. Our lawyers thoroughly understand qui tam law and can help you file a qui tam lawsuit or claim on your behalf.
What is qui tam law?
Qui tam law is a legal term used to describe an area of the law that allows individuals to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government against a company committing fraud involving government funds. The Latin phrase (“qui tam” means “in the name of the king”) dates back to 14th Century England, when King Edward II financially rewarded people who reported government fraud.
But the qui tam cases are not relics of the past. Many people in the United States frequently file qui tam lawsuits and receive financial compensation for reporting fraudulent criminal activity involving government funds. They often work with experienced qui tam attorneys who can protect their rights and help them obtain justice.
The laws covering qui tam cases in America date back to the 1600s. But it was the False Claims Act of 1863 that truly brought qui tam law into the modern era. The U.S. government created that law in reaction to widespread military contractor fraud during the Civil War. The law has since been revised several times and now covers fraud involving private businesses.
What are common qui tam claims?
Qui tam claims involving government fraud can cover a wide range. Some of the most common cases involve:
- Billing the government for goods or services not provided
- Double billing the government for goods or services
- Medicare or Medicaid fraud (also sometimes referred to as healthcare fraud)
- Tax evasion or underpayment of taxes
- Kickbacks to government officials from private contractors in exchange for government contracts
- Prevailing wage fraud (submitting false payroll records to the government, a violation of the Davis Bacon Act)
- Defense contractor fraud
Whatever type of government fraud or corruption case you’re dealing with, make sure you fully understand your rights. Make sure you talk to a lawyer familiar with qui tam law and how such rules and regulations may apply to your specific case.
How do qui tam claims work?
The process for submitting a qui tam claim and obtaining financial compensation as a reward can often be very detailed. In most cases, you will need to provide evidence of fraud or corruption. Often, this may include bills or written invoices documenting criminal activity.
In many cases, you will then need to file a qui tam lawsuit, sometimes referred to as a complaint, “under seal.” This means you must file a qui tam claim confidentially with the presiding court. Such rules are clearly spelled out in the False Claims Act.
The False Claims Act also has a first-to-file requirement for receiving a financial reward. This simply means that the whistleblower must be the first person to file a lawsuit in relation to a specific allegation of fraud or corruption. If another whistleblower has already filed a similar complaint, subsequent whistleblowers are not eligible for financial compensation.
How much is my qui tam case worth?
The value of your qui tam claim will depend largely on how much money the government recovers as a result of your legal action. In most cases, whistleblowers that file a qui tam lawsuit receive a percentage of the money recovered by the government.
The percentage awarded to whistleblowers by the government as a reward varies from case to case. There is also no maximum amount or cap on how much money whistleblowers can receive. As a result, a qui tam reward could potentially be worth thousands or even millions of dollars depending on the amount of money recovered by the government.
Since the False Claims Act was significantly revised in 1986, billions of dollars have been paid to whistleblowers as a reward for successfully filing a qui tam lawsuit. However, only one whistleblower per case can be rewarded due to the False Claims Act’s first-to-file rule. That’s why it’s important to take legal action as soon as possible involving government fraud.
Put the power of a qui tam attorney to work for you. Contact us
Qui tam whistleblower cases demand strong legal action. That’s why it’s critical you contact our law firm as soon as possible. We have years of experience investigating such claims, know what evidence to look for and understand how to build a strong legal case.
We also understand the need for privacy and the sensitive nature of many qui tam cases. That’s why we work discreetly with each client considering pursuing a qui tam claim. You can count on our law firm to be tactful, respectful and diplomatic.
Discover what an experienced qui tam lawyer can do for you. Contact us today. Call (713) 903-2731 or fill out our online inquiry form and schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys. We welcome the opportunity work with you on your whistleblower case.
Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. – a name you can trust to make things right.