Everyday "fraud" is occuring across this country, where individuals, large corporations and medical providers are over billing or inappropriately billing the United States Government for product or services. In some cases the overbilling goes into the millions. In an attempt to control this problem the Government enacted laws that provide or give money to you, if you uncover a defrauding situation. Thus if a co-worker or employer or someone you know is defrauding the U.S. Government, contact our Law Firm, we can assist you with submitting the claim and having the U.S. Government pay you money, if the Government agrees that a fraud has occurred.
For hundreds of years, individuals and corporations have successfully defrauded our Country. With hundreds of transactions and partnerships being made every day, it is difficult for the Government to keep a watchful eye on every sale or purchase or service it directs or contracts.
Our Country's founding fathers knew this all too well when Ben Franklin said, "There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government."
In 1863, during the Civil War, deceptive military contractors defrauded the Union Army out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by supplying troops with defective products and faulty war equipment. Illegal price gouging was common. In response, President Lincoln enacted the Federal Civil False Claims Act. A provision of the act was known as qui tam.
Qui Tam is an abbreviation from the Latin Phrase "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro sic ipso in hoc parte sequitur," which means "who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter," qui tam laws have existed for hundreds of years, dating as far back as 13th century England.
Our Qui Tam actions allow a private citizen to file a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. Government 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.
In reward, the "whistleblower" (also known as the relator) can share in any federal revenue recovered.
In 1986, United States Congress amended the False Claims Act in order to make it easier for whistleblowers to file claims against fraudulent corporations and individuals. The whistleblower's share of recovery was increased to a maximum of 30 percent and the government's prior knowledge of fraud now did not necessarily bar a whistleblower from collecting lost revenue. If the government took over the lawsuit, the relator would also "continue as a party to the action." Amendments required the defendant to pay for the relator's attorney fees and protected the whistleblower from retaliatory actions by his or her employer. As a result, qui tam lawsuits increased dramatically. To date, the government has collected over $6 billion in lost revenue, nearly $1 billion of which has been rewarded to relators / individual citizens.
There are several examples of how companies and individuals defraud the government. The following are covered under the False Claims Act:
- Having any false claim paid by the government.
- Mischarging or overcharging for goods or services.
- Improper price data and the request for payment for services never provided.
- Falsely certifying information for the entitlement of benefits.
- Holding government property for fraudulent purposes.
- Avoiding payment of a debt to the government because of illegal reasons.
- Knowingly providing the government with defective or dangerous products that were falsely certified.
As a general rule, anyone who defrauds the Government out of revenue can be held accountable under the False Claims Act. Common defendants include government contractors and subcontractors, state and local government agencies or officials who swindle funds, private universities and members of the healthcare industry. Whistleblowers often include employees of the defrauding company, including former workers, competitors of government contractors and public interest groups.
The False Claims Act was enacted to encourage private citizens, to assist to assist the government in the fight against fraud.
If you feel you have discovered a fraud upon the U.S. Government or State Government call us. The fraud may qualify under the qui tam provision of the Civil False Claims Act - call us at 1-800-862-1260, we can help. We will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any fees unless we recover money for you.