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Important Qui Tam Lawsuit Requirements?

Today, it seems that whistleblowers often face retaliation for their service. However, the federal statute allows whistlers to report corruption on behalf of the federal government without fear of repercussions.

Latin for “in the name of the king,” qui tam allows citizens to report acts of fraud and as a reward, the whistleblower can recover a percentage of the recovered funds. Keep reading to learn more about qui tam and the requirements of a qui tam lawsuit.

The False Claims Act

The False Claims Act codified as 31 U.S.C. §3729-33, prohibits making a false claim or falsifying a record for payment or approval to anyone who works for the federal government or a member of the Armed Services. For a person to be prosecuted, the individual has to intentionally make a false claim to cheat the government out of property or funds or provide a record unsure of its authenticity.

What is Qui Tam?

In 1986, Congress amended the False Claims Act to allow private citizens to bring claims on behalf of the United States government. Common types of qui tam cases include:

Healthcare Fraud

Deceptive billing practices are common in Medicare and Medicaid, both federally funded government programs. If someone has evidence that a provider has been upcoding or accepting kickbacks, this could be brought in a qui tam lawsuit.

Insurance Fraud

An insurance qui tam lawsuit can be filed if a government employee makes a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim or in the event that a fraudulent claim is made to collect relief funds following a natural disaster. Fraudulent schemes were commonly seen after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Environmental Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) creates environmental regulations and works to protect the health of all citizens. Whether it be due to time or financial constraints, many government contractors have been found in violation of EPA regulations. A qui tam lawsuit can be brought against contractors who fail to comply or report noncompliance with environmental regulations.

Qui Tam Lawsuit Requirements

An individual who initiates a qui tam lawsuit is known as a relator. This person is essentially taking the role of a private U.S. attorney general. In exchange for the information provided, a whistleblower will receive 15-30% of the amount recovered by the government.

To bring the lawsuit to court, the relator must take the following two steps:

A copy of the complaint is served to the defendant once the court allows it. Usually, the defendant is served after a status report is filed with the court.

The government has 60 days from either the date of service or when the statement of material evidence has been submitted to notify the court whether or not it will be taking over the case. The government may be given more time to come to a decision if it can demonstrate “good cause” why the extension is needed.

Speak with a Greenville Qui Tam Lawyer at Ryan Beasley Law Today

Bringing an injustice to light can put you at risk of losing your job, being harassed, or being blacklisted. The federal government protects upstanding citizens like yourself from unfair treatment for reporting a crime. To find out more, please contact Ryan Beasley Law by calling (864) 679-7777 or by filling out our online contact form.