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
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
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.
Importance of Government Intervention In Qui Tam Actions:
95% of Qui Tam Cases Are Successful When The Government
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
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.
For further reading:
Life of a Qui Tam Lawsuit & Why You Want the Government to
What is the
False Claims Act?
Act Broadens for Qui Tam Relators
Federal False Claims Actions May Be Based On False
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