A Qui Tam lawsuit is one in which a private citizen can file a lawsuit on behalf of the federal or state government alleging fraud by government contractors or other entities that receive or use government funds. Generally, Qui Tam actions revolve around false claims that are presented to the government for its payment or approval. These can consist of submissions of false financial records, false statements, not delivering goods that were sold, or other fraudulent representations.
The purpose of these lawsuits is to arm private citizens who have independent and direct knowledge of fraud, with a tool to prosecute those defrauding the government, and help the government recover revenue lost as a result of the fraud.
The plaintiff, or “relator”, who files the Qui Tam lawsuit also gets to share in any monetary recovery. If the lawsuit is successful, a relator can recover a minimum of 15 percent to a maximum of 30 percent of the government’s total recovery along with additional civil penalties.
In general, any organization or person who uses federal or state money can be charged as a defendant in a Qui Tam action. Typical defendants therefore often include government contractors, medical providers, state and local government agencies or officials, and private universities.
If you believe you have information that might warrant the filing of a Qui Tam lawsuit, please contact a Freidin•Dobrinsky attorney to discuss your legal rights at 800-815-6232, or contact us at The Whistleblower Law Firm.