Every year, federal and state governments lose billions of dollars due to fraud and misconduct of companies and organizations. The Office of Management and Budget estimated that the federal government made $98 billion in “improper payments” during FY2009, an increase of 38% from the $72 billion the prior year. In July 2010, President Obama signed into law the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010, citing approximately $110 billion in unauthorized payments of all types. The government has pledged to do more to combat this problem, including better analysis, auditing, and incentives.
One of the most effective tools the government has used in combating fraud is the federal whistleblower law known as the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA allows any person who knows that an individual or company has financially defrauded the federal government to file a “qui tam” lawsuit to recover damages on the government’s behalf. The qui tam suit is brought in the name of the whistleblower, but the government may join the case and litigate alongside the whistleblower’s lawyers. Filing a qui tam suit against the entity responsible for the government fraud may result in compensation for the whistleblower that can be up to 30% of the government recovery.
According to a report by the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, more than 80% of all successful FCA recoveries were brought to the government by whistleblowers and their lawyers. Billions have been awarded to whistleblowers who have stepped forward and filed qui tam suits on behalf of the federal and state governments.
The statute of limitations for filing a False Claims Act lawsuit can be as short as six years and the opportunity for a private individual to use the whistleblower law to bring a false claims action may be cut off if someone else publicizes the conduct at issue, files a False Claims Act lawsuit making similar charges, or otherwise spurs the government into action before you file suit.
Someone from our team is available online or on the phone if you have a potential case. We will review your case for free.
Today, many states and some larger cities and the District of Columbia have developed False Claims Act laws to fight fraud.