False Claims Act or ''Qui Tam'' Actions
Defrauding the federal government is a serious offense, and people that engage in such behavior are vigorously prosecuted. In addition to facing criminal charges, parties that defraud the government may face civil liability. Whistleblowers who alert the government to civil fraud may be eligible for a reward under the False Claims Act. If you have information regarding activity intended to defraud the government, you may be able to pursue a suit on behalf of the government, and you should contact an attorney regarding your rights. The knowledgeable lawyers of Pugsley Wood, LLP have experience helping parties navigate the complexities of False Claims Act actions, and if you engage our services, we will work diligently to help you seek the maximum reward you may be entitled to recover.Details of the False Claims Act
The False Claims Act (the Act) is the primary tool used to combat fraudulent acts against the government. It is a federal statute that imposes civil liability on companies and individuals that defraud the federal government.
The Act includes a provision that authorizes individuals to pursue claims on behalf of the government. Such lawsuits are known as "Qui tam" actions. Whistleblowers who institute such claims, often referred to as “Relators,” may receive an award that constitutes 10% to 30% of the total damages recovered.
Some things that can trigger a qui tam action include attempting to pay the government less than it is owed or charging it for more than what was provided, fraudulently pursuing government contracts, submitting false applications for federal loans and grants. Charging the government for services or goods that do not meet regulatory or contractual requirements, including certification requirements, may lead to qui tam actions as well.Bringing a Qui Tam Lawsuit
Qui tam actions must be filed confidentially and under seal in federal district court. To be successful you must be the first to file an action, so it is critical not to delay in consulting an attorney. A complaint along with a statement setting forth all the evidence and information in your possession, is served on the United States Attorney General and the United States Attorney for the district where the complaint is filed.
Lawsuits under the Act are highly confidential unless and until the judge in the case lifts the seal. Whistleblowers must maintain that confidentiality or risk having their suit dismissed.Speak to a Trusted False Claims Act Attorney
If you believe you have information indicating that someone else is defrauding the government, you should speak to an attorney about your options. The requirements of the False Claims Act are extensive, and the trusted lawyers of Pugsley Wood take pride in helping whistleblowers navigate those requirements. If we represent you, we will zealously pursue the best legal outcome available under the facts of your case. We frequently represent people in qui tam actions throughout the United States.