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Our firm represents whistleblowers in federal False Claims Act matters, state False Claims Act matters, and pursuant to the IRS, SEC, and CFTC whistleblower programs. All of these legal regimes have qui tam provisions that incentivize private citizens to come forward with information about fraud and to benefit monetarily if there is a government recovery.
Under the federal and various states’ False Claims Acts, citizen whistleblowers can sue on the government’s behalf when they have knowledge of individuals or businesses defrauding the government. These cases are most commonly found in health care where government programs, Medicare and Medicaid, constitute a significant portion of industry expenditures, as well as other industries where private companies contract with the government, such as defense.
False Claims Act cases are filed “under seal” and remain secret to everyone except for the government in order to give officials an opportunity to investigate. Ultimately, the federal or state governments can decide to “intervene” in a case, which means they essentially take over the civil suit, or decline to intervene. In the event that there is a recovery, the whistleblower can recover 15 to 30 percent of the recovery.
In recent years, Congress has also established a whistleblower program for large scale tax fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud as well. Each provides whistleblowers with an opportunity to share in any government monetary recoveries. Whistleblower laws can be complex and have very specific procedural requirements in order to be eligible for an award. Individuals with credible, personal information about potential fraud should speak to an attorney with experience in these areas.