The False Claims Act was put into place by the federal government in order to stop individuals and organizations from cheating and stealing from the government. It is designed to prevent losses in situations in which the government is paying money that is beyond what is appropriate. There are a number of ways that the government can be defrauded. These include inappropriate Medicare claims, military contracting claims that are overpriced, and fraudulent claims for funding for projects involving the environment, energy, farming and education.
When the laws were put into place forbidding false claims against the government, an incentive was built into the law in order to encourage people to act as whistleblowers when they are aware of wrongdoing that they have observed, whether within their own company or in their role as an agent, a contractor, a supplier, or simply as a witness. Those who report false claims can sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the government, thereby earning the right to a percentage of any monies recovered as a result of the lawsuit.
Filing a False Claims Act lawsuit is a complex and harrowing process. There is a highly specific procedure that must be followed, and in addition to the complications of the lawsuit itself, whistleblowers must be mindful of the response that their actions may yield. Though there are protections offered against reprisals, whistleblowers may be referred to as traitors, and may find themselves alienated within their work environment. If you believe that you have learned of fraud against the government that should be reported under a False Claims Act, it is essential that you seek legal guidance from an experienced False Claims Act Attorney. In order to protect yourself against retaliation, as well as to ensure that your case is handled in the most professional and appropriate manner, you need to work with somebody who has the knowledge and qualifications to represent you.
If you believe that you have evidence of a fraud that has occurred or is occurring against federal contracts or programs, than you may be eligible to file a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act. It is important to understand that the False Claims Act contains a “first to file” rule that means that if another relator has filed a suit before you, then your case will be dismissed in favor of theirs. Do not share your concerns with anybody else who may file a claim; instead work with an experienced whistleblower attorney who has the knowledge needed to prepare a compelling qui tam case on your behalf.
Many people who file whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act fear reprisals by their employer or the company about whom they filed the claim. A number of protections have been put in place against retaliation, and an experienced False Claims Act attorney will be able to prevent you from this illegal practice.
Learn more about the False Claims Act here: