Some Background on Qui Tam Cases
If you have evidence that a company is defrauding the government, as a whistleblower or qui tam relator you can file a legal action in the government’s name. The whistleblower receives a percentage of any money the government recovers. This is done under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
The U.S. Department of Justice has 60 days to investigate the claim and decide whether it will join in the legal action. If the government joins the lawsuit, the whistleblower can receive between 15 and 25 percent of the recovery depending on the value of the information provided. Similar laws exist in Florida and other states.
What Should You Do To Become A Whistleblower?
If you believe you have discovered fraud at your workplace, you should try to assess the magnitude of the fraud and gather whatever documentary or electronic evidence is lawfully available. This should be done without violating the law or the terms of any employment agreement.
If you have attended meetings where the fraud was discussed, or been involved in relevant events, you should write down the details of these meetings or events, including when they took place, what was said by whom, who was present, and what documents exist that memorialize the meetings or events.
Write the notes as a memorandum to your qui tam attorney so that they will be protected by the attorney-client privilege.
There are some important restrictions on federal qui tam actions. You cannot recover if another whistleblower has already filed a qui tam complaint based on the same information. Therefore it is very important that you never discuss the fraud with others. Doing so may inspire co-workers or others to file their own qui tam action, thereby barring yours. Also, information that has already been made public cannot serve as the basis of a whistleblower qui tam claim.
If you’ve collected the evidence, contact us using the button below or click here for more information about preparing your whistleblower claim.