Many people work for private businesses that earn a substantial sums of money from governmental contracts or doing business with governmental entities. When these employees discover that their employer is defrauding the government out of money they can and should take action. They can hire a lawyer and file a Qui Tam action, better known as a whistleblower case. Qui tam lawsuits allow whistleblowers to get financially rewarded for exposing and stopping fraud against the government – fraud that can endanger the lives of healthcare patients and soldiers. Our Orange County contingency attorneys handle whistleblower cases on behalf of employees throughout California.
Whistleblower Cases – False Claims & Fraud
Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen may blow the whistle on a business that is defrauding the government and recover funds on the government’s behalf. The lawsuit is filed “under seal,” meaning that it is kept secret from everyone but the government to give the Justice Department time to investigate the allegations. Even the company being accused of fraud is not told about the qui tam case. The qui tam lawsuit and supporting documents should provide the government with detailed information about the fraud.
What are some common types of governmental whistleblower cases?
- Medicare billing fraud
- Medicaid billing fraud
- Defense Contractor fraud
- Kickbacks to doctors who bill medicare
- Pharmaceutical fraud
- Expense inflation for medicare cost reports
The government investigates the allegations, often with the assistance of the whistleblower’s attorney, and decides whether it will join, or “intervene,” in the case. The government intervenes in only a small percentage of qui tam lawsuits. Defendants found liable under the False Claims Act may have to pay as much as three times the government’s losses plus penalties for each false claim.
What Kind of Financial Reward Do You Get?
The amount of the whistleblower reward depends on many factors, including the quality of the case as presented to the Justice Department and the work of the whistleblower’s attorney to help the qui tam case succeed. If the government intervenes in the case and recovers funds through a settlement or a trial, the whistleblower is entitled to 15 percent to 25 percent of the recovery. If the government doesn’t intervene in the case and it is pursued by the whistleblower team, the whistleblower reward is between 25 and 30 percent of the recovery.
The recoveries in these types of cases can be huge. Many have settled in the hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars.