Qui Tam Whistleblower Law

The term “qui tam” has been around for centuries and comes from a Latin phrase meaning, “he who brings an action for the king as well as himself.” qui tam or whistle-blower laws are used by the government as a means to combat fraud. This law is meant to persuade moral individuals to come forward when they become aware of fraudulent activities or false claims being committed against the government. Basically, qui tam affords a private citizen the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government under the Civil False Claims Act in an effort to recover losses caused by fraud against the government. The law is an incentive for civilians who know of individuals or companies making false claims for profit to come forward with information.

The False Claims Act states that whistle-blowers be rewarded with a percentage of the money that the government recovers as a result of their qui tam lawsuits. This provision helps encourage people to assist the government in reducing Medicare fraud, defense fraud and other kinds of fraud despite the effect whistle-blowing might have on their jobs and personal lives.

Under the False Claims Act, the government may recover up to three times the amount of money it lost as a result of the defendant’s fraud. The whistle-blower’s share is calculated based upon the amount the government recovers, not the actual losses.

A number of factors determine how much money a whistle-blower will receive if the government is able to recover money from the defendant. If the government joins the case, the whistle-blower is entitled to at least 15 percent, but not more than 25 percent of what the government recovers.

If the government declines to join the case and the whistle-blower continues with a suit against the defendant, the whistle-blower is entitled to at least 25 percent but not more than 30 percent of the money the government recovers.

The law firm of Freedland Harwin Valori has been credited with initiating the first lawsuit in the largest whistle-blower case ever recorded. The case, against pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly settled for $1.4 billion. Freedland Harwin Valori is currently investigating several other whistle-blower (qui tam) cases. As a reward for filing a qui tam lawsuit the whistle-blower is entitled to a percentage of the money recovered by the government. And the False Claims Act protects whistle-blowers who file qui tam lawsuits from being fired, demoted or harassed by their employer.

You can contact Freedland Harwin Valori for a free consultation by calling 954-467-6400.

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