Representing Whistleblowers in Qui Tam Actions
The federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq., allows an individual with knowledge of fraud committed against the United States government to file a lawsuit on behalf of the federal government against the person or business that perpetrated the fraud. The FCA has proven to be one of the most effective tools in fighting Medicare and Medicaid fraud, defense contractor fraud and other types of fraud perpetrated against the federal government. The purpose of the FCA is to enlist the help of private citizens in protecting the U.S. Treasury (and taxpayers) from increasingly sophisticated fraud. In successful actions, the individual who brought the lawsuit, also known as the qui tam plaintiff or relator, is awarded a percentage of the total recovery. Since the FCA was amended in 1986, the U.S. government has recovered more than $8 billion as a result of whistleblower lawsuits and qui tam plaintiffs have been awarded nearly $1.5 billion. In addition to claims under the FCA, Freed Kanner London & Millen also handles cases brought under parallel state laws, including the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act, 740 ILCA § 175/1 et seq. (based on fraud committed against state agencies).