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What Is A Qui Tam Case?

The False Claims Act and Qui Tam Provisions

The False Claims Act prohibits the submission of false claims or statements to the government. Violators face fines of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim, plus treble damages. Whistleblowers (referred to as relators) can initiate qui tam cases by filing a sealed complaint in court with the assistance of an attorney.  The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow individuals and their qui tam lawyers to bring a claim on behalf of the government against entities that submit false claims to the government.  If the government recovers, whistleblowers typically receive between 15% and 30% of the total recovery.  To speak with qui tam lawyers, please fill out the free case analysis form to the right or call (215) 875-4699.

Origins and History of Qui Tam Law

The False Claims Act was passed on March 2, 1863 during the Civil War under the administration of President Abraham Lincoln.  The False Claims act, also known as "Lincoln's Law" was enacted to deter fraud against the government by suppliers to the Union Army.  The False Claims Act contained qui tam provisions.  "Qui tam" derives from the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning "who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter." The False Claims Act remained unchanged until 1943 when Congress altered the qui tam provisions, including a cut in the whistleblowers potential award.  After this revision, the False Claims Act was rarely used.  In the mid-1980s, Congress again amended the False Claims Act.  The amended False Claims Act provided that whistleblowers who brought successful cases were entitled to recover 15-30% of the government's recovery. The False Claims Act was again amended in 2009. Prior to the 1986 amendments the majority of cases brought under the False Claims Act involved defense contracting fraud.  Currently, the majority of cases brought under the False Claims Act are health care fraud cases.

Seeking Qui Tam Lawyers?

From extensive experience, we understand that whistleblowers have deep concerns regarding their part in qui tam cases. We understand how being a qui tam relator may affect their career and their family. Berger & Montague has represented whistleblowers in complex qui tam litigation and understands that the focus of our work starts with and ends with the whistleblower. To speak with qui tam lawyers, you may call us at (215) 875-4699 for a confidential qui tam claim analysis or continue reading below.

We initiate the process by taking the time and getting to know our potential clients.  First, we explain to each potential client the advantages and disadvantages of being a whistleblower. We explain the process of filing a qui tam complaint and ensure they have a basic understanding of the qui tam provisions and whistleblowers laws.  If the potential client is prepared to move along, we start a detailed investigation of the alleged fraud on the government, including, but not limited to, reviewing all relevant documentation, conducting multiple interviews, and consulting with various specialists, if need be.

A vital step to success in qui tam cases is to receive the government's interest.  State and federal prosecutors listen to hundreds of whistleblower complaints every year. If a whistleblower's case has been thoroughly investigated and is not presented to the government in a favorable way, a case with substantial promise may not receive the attention it deserves from the government.

After the initial investigation, our qui tam lawyers prepare and file a detailed complaint, positioned to receive the federal and state government's interest in moving on with the qui tam case.

Types of Qui Tam Cases/Lawsuits to Take Action On:

Qui Tam Cases Percentage Breakdown Chart - Berger & Montague

As the chart above shows, the majority of qui tam cases filed involve health care fraud; in other words, the primary focus on qui tam litigation has been Medicare and Medicaid fraud.  Additionally, Department of Defense, including defense contracting fraud against the government make-up 19% of the qui tam cases filed.  "Other" qui tam cases may involve financial fraud and mortgage fraud which are rising in correlation with the economic downturn starting in 2008.

Qui Tam Cases Increase from 1988 to 2011

The chart below shows that since the False Claim Act amendments in the 1980s, the amount of qui tam cases filed has increased each year. From 1987 to the present, over 7,000 qui tam cases have been filed (as recorded by the Department of Justice).  The past two years, in 2010 and 2011, 573 and 638 qui tam cases have been filed respectively.  As stated above, financial fraud cases as well as healthcare cases will continue to rise meaning more and more qui tam cases being filed in the future years.

Qui Tam Cases Filed Increasing Year By Year Chart - Berger & Montague

Importance of Government Intervention In Qui Tam Actions:  95% of Qui Tam Cases Are Successful When The Government Intervenes

The government has intervened in 22% of cases brought by qui tam lawyers.  From 1987 to 2010, approximately 95% of the cases that the government intervened in were settled or received a favorable judgment.

Of these successful cases, whistleblowers are compensated around 10 percent to 30 percent of the amount the government recovered.  The percentage the whistleblower receives is higher if the government does not intervene; however, the overall recovery is usually higher when the government intervenes.

About Berger & Montague - Qui Tam Lawyers

Berger & Montague's Whistleblowers, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Group has recovered over $1.1 billion for federal and state taxpayers.  For over ten years, the Berger & Montague, P.C. Whistleblowers, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Group has helped represent many whistleblowers in actions including healthcare fraud, IRS tax fraud, securities fraud, and government contracting fraud. Whistleblower clients represented by Berger & Montague in federal and state courts have been awarded over $100 million.

Contact Us To Learn More

If you have discovered evidence of government fraud, contact an experienced False Claims Act attorney before blowing the whistle. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and the legal protections afforded to whistleblowers under state and federal laws. The attorneys of Berger & Montague are nationally recognized experts in Whistleblower/Qui Tam actions with over a decade of experience pursuing these complex fraud cases. For more information or to schedule your confidential consultation, use the form on this page or call us at 1-800-424-6690.

Contact For More Information (Green)

For further reading:
Life of a Qui Tam Lawsuit & Why You Want the Government to Intervene
What is the False Claims Act?
False Claims Act Broadens for Qui Tam Relators
Federal False Claims Actions May Be Based On False Estimates

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