Can I File a Qui Tam Lawsuit?
Our attorneys explain how the qui tam lawsuit process works
Whistleblower fraud cases involving qui tam actions can seem confusing to people unfamiliar with such legislation. The Latin term itself (“qui tam” means “in the name of the king”) sometimes throws people off. But even people who understand the principles of qui tam law often have many questions about whistleblower cases involving qui tam law. And right near the top of the list is whether they can personally file a qui tam lawsuit.
The basic premise of qui tam law revolves around financially rewarding people who report fraud, primarily involving taxpayer money used to pay for goods or services. These laws have existed for hundreds of years. And while the precise rules have changed, the basic concept remains the same – people should be financially rewarded for reporting fraud.
Our attorneys at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., in Houston have decades of experience dealing with complex legal cases. We thoroughly understand the state and federal rules and regulations involving qui tam law. We know how the legal process works. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success.
Honest advice about qui tam lawsuits from experienced attorneys
In order to understand whether you can file a qui tam lawsuit, it’s important to consider some of the questions about this area of law. We’re familiar with many of the most frequently asked questions about qui tam law. We acquired this knowledge through our extensive work on qui tam lawsuits in Texas and throughout the country. Some of the most common questions we regularly receive include:
- Do I have to be a government employee to file a qui tam lawsuit?
- Can I file a qui tam lawsuit against a private business?
- Where can I file a qui tam lawsuit?
- How are qui tam lawsuits different from regular lawsuits?
- Who investigates qui tam lawsuits?
- Why are people financially compensated for filing a qui tam lawsuit?
No. Anyone can file a qui tam lawsuit if they have evidence of fraud against the federal government or any government agency. What matters is what information you have documenting overbilling, double billing, kickbacks, or other corrupt practices.
Yes. Qui tam law encompasses private business. As a result, whistleblowers can be financially compensated for providing evidence of fraud committed by a private company.
You must a file qui tam lawsuit in federal court confidentially “under seal,” meaning the lawsuit is kept secret by the whistleblower while the government investigates such allegations. If you violate these provisions, your qui tam lawsuit could be dismissed by the government.
People can file a lawsuit for a wide range of reasons. Qui tam lawsuits can only be filed if someone suspects fraud or other types of corruption. The principle behind qui tam lawsuits in the United States dates back to 1863, when the False Claims Act became law. But origins of qui tam law began in the 14th Century when people in England could take legal action on behalf of the king.
Government officials in the U.S. Department of Justice normally handle most investigations involving qui tam lawsuits. These cases can often be very difficult to prove. That’s because many people try to conceal evidence of their wrongdoing. That’s why we often actively investigate such allegations – to make sure our clients’ cases get the attention they rightfully deserve.
Offering a financial incentive for reporting fraud has a long-standing tradition in American society. People who decide to pursue a qui tam lawsuit put themselves at great risk. And because the U.S. government increased the amount of money people receive under the False Claims Act in 1986, there has been a significant increase in the number of qui tam claims. Qui tam lawsuits have helped the government recover billions of dollars in taxpayer money since 1986. In some cases, a single whistleblower has received millions of dollars for helping uncover the fraud or corruption involving federally-funded programs, including Medicaid and Medicare.
Qui tam lawsuit cases can be complicated. We can help
Holding the government or large corporations responsible for fraud takes courage. With so much money at stake, many whistleblowers who file a qui tam lawsuit must defend their actions against intense investigations mounted by the people who committed such crimes. In some cases, whistleblowers can feel like they’re the ones who did something wrong amid such scrutiny.
Make sure you have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. Contact our law firm today. We respect your privacy and will do everything we can to protect your rights. Call (713) 903-2731 or fill out our online inquiry form and schedule a confidential appointment.