Qui Tam Attorney
Do You Need a Qui Tam Lawyer?
A Qui Tam lawsuit is described as a “whistleblower lawsuit” under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act is a law that rewards a person who “blows the whistle”, or reports fraud. If an individual is aware of a fraudulent claim that someone or a business has filed against the government, they may be financially rewarded. Qui Tam is short for a Latin phrase that translates to “he who brings an action for the king, as well as himself”.
Cases that involve Qui Tam are a way for the whistleblower to aid and assist the government in stopping various types of fraud. These whistleblowers are helping the government recover billions of dollars that have been stolen from the taxpayers and the United States Treasury through fraudulent claims.
Where Qui Tam Law Began
In Roman law, prosecutors were commonly petitioned by private citizens who had become aware of some type of illegal activity and felt they needed to report it. In an effort to encourage these people to come forward, the courts often gave a portion of the guilty defendant’s forfeited property to the “whistleblower”.
The Roman occupation of the British Isles brought international Qui Tam lawyers to the English. The English adopted the Qui Tam into their legal system and Qui Tam lawyers began to appear in the courts. Here, in America, much of our legal system comes from English law. This includes the Qui Tam Law which continues to exist today.
Who Is Able to Become a Whistleblower?
According to the False Claims Act, any private citizen is eligible to sue a person or business that is defrauding the government in an attempt to recover money on behalf of the government. Qui Tam lawsuits are filed “under seal”, which means that the lawsuit is kept a secret from all parties involved, with the exception of the government. This is done in an effort to provide the Justice Department with the time required to adequately investigate the allegations. Not even the person or business entity that is being accused is made aware of Qui Tam claims. A Qui Tam lawsuit and all of the documents that support it should be handed over to the government.
If you know about fraudulent activity being committed against the government, you should contact a skilled Qui Tam Lawyer right away.
After A Qui Tam Lawsuit is Filed, What Happens?
An investigation will begin after a Qui Tam lawsuit is filed. This is usually done with the whistlblower’s lawyer”s assistance. During this time the attorneys will decide whether or not the government will intervene and/or join the lawsuit. The government intervenes in very few Qui Tam lawsuits. If the government decides that they do not wish to intervene, the whistleblower has the option to pursue a Qui Tam case on their own.
A Qui Tam case will be sealed for an initial 60 days in an effort to give the government time to investigate the allegations being made. The court can, and often does, extend that initial seal several times in order to ensure a thorough investigation of all information. These investigations can take years to thoroughly work though.
There are times when the government will request that the court partially lift the seal in the Qui Tam case so that the parties can discuss the allegations and determine if a settlement is possible.
If a defendant is found to be liable under the False Claims Act, they may end up paying three times the government’s losses for each false claim that was made. The defendant would also be responsible for penalties for each false claim.
International Qui Tam Lawyers
Whistleblower lawsuits are filed on behalf of the government, as well as for the plaintiff. The United States has a far-reaching presence in modern global affairs. Therefore, in many cases, an international Qui Tam lawyer is required. Without an experienced international Qui Tam lawyer, a defendant has little chance against a formidable prosecution.
The whistleblower that exposes government fraud may sue on behalf of the government. In return, just as in ancient Rome, if a defendant is found guilty, the relator (whistleblower) may receive a reward for bringing the illegal activity to the attention of the government.
That, in a nutshell, is what is spelled out in The Qui Tam Act.
With so many companies conducting international business and forming financial associations overseas, fraud against our government has become even more common. Any person or entity charged with violating the False Claims Act is going to need a skilled international Qui Tam lawyer.
What is a Whistleblower?
Although the term “whistleblower” is popularly used, under the False Claims Act a whistleblower is referred to as a “relator”.
When an individual becomes aware of a person or group submitting fraudulent claims to the government, their duty is clear; it must be reported. This also includes private detectives since they don’t have client privilege.
Some individuals decide to take a more aggressive approach by suing on behalf of the government. These charges would be for the submission of false claims for reimbursement of funds, or having others do it on behalf of the defendant, as well as anyone else involved in the scheme. The relator, although not necessarily suffering personal harm as a result of the fraudulent behavior, must be a personal witness. Otherwise, the relator’s testimony will be inadmissible.
It should be noted here that Qui Tam actions are for illegal actions against the US government. Prosecutors have become more aggressive over time and have the full might of the government behind them. Therefore, international Qui Tam lawyers must be experienced enough to overcome these odds.
Sometimes the federal or state government steps in and becomes a participating party in the suit. In these cases, the government also holds a position at the negotiating table. However, this actual is usually not taken when the fraudulent activity is minor in nature or occurred as a result of technical error.
Most Common Types of Qui Tam Cases
Qui Tam cases are filed by whistleblowers against parties, individuals, or businesses who have committed fraud against the United States government in an effort to financially benefit. Fraud claims made against the government come in several different forms. The most common kinds of Qui Tam cases are:
- Trade Agreement Act Cases
- FCPA, Dodd-Frank, and Financial Fraud Cases
- Medical Provider Billing Fraud Cases
- Kickback Cases
- Best Price Cases
- Off-Label Marketing Cases
- Defense Contracting Cases
If healthcare defense becomes necessary, you’ll need all the expertise your healthcare expert can muster in order to force the prosecution to back down.
The False Claim Act and the “Relator”
Since the rules and regulations within the False Claims Act are so complicated, only a Qui Tam lawyer with years of experience is qualified to decipher the applicable information, as well as find additional information quickly.
When a reliable “relator” is involved and willing to testify against a defendant, a Qui Tam trial lawyer is going to have to put up a powerful defense. They may start by calling the relator to the stand. The Qui Tam trial lawyer will contest every possible weak point in the witness’s testimony and will use every technique possible in order to trip the relator up, perhaps even get him/her to change previous testimony or admit potential doubt. This can take an enormous amount of courtroom experience, patience, and clever evaluation of witnesses. Only a dedicated and experienced Qui Tam lawyer can face these challenges and persevere.
Why Hire a Qui Tam Lawyer?
A Qui Tam defense attorneys are not only well-versed in these types of cases, but also have experience with Qui Tam cases that involve Medicare fraud and other types of federal and state fraud.
Our lawyers have a complete understanding of all Medicare and healthcare fraud. If you have knowledge of fraud being committed against the government, we can help you. Contact our Qui Tam lawyers today to find out how we can help you with your claim.
Call us today 888-402-4054 to discuss how we can help..