Qui Tam cases, or whistleblower cases, are brought under the False Claims Act to recover government funds that were procured through fraud by a corporation or individual. Individuals are permitted, under the False Claims Act, to bring a civil action to recover the stolen funds. A successful qui tam/whistleblower/false claims case requires that the claim for payment was paid and that the claim was fraudulent. A whistleblower law firm can uncover the facts and use them to advance litigation.
Individuals responsible for bringing a successful suit can receive compensation based on the recovery acquired by the whistleblower attorney. Based on past whistleblower law firm settlements, the extent of compensation for the individual is between 15-30% of the total recovery.
Justice Department estimates for funds recovered under the False Claims Act through qui tam cases, between 1987-2009, are staggering. In total, more than $15 billion of fraudulently claimed funds were recovered throughout that time period. Further, the share for individual whistleblowers was $2.477 billion of those recoveries.
The False Claims Act was enacted in the late nineteenth century and served as a response to widespread fraud against the government by Union army military contractors. Today, the False Claims Act is as relevant now as it was then, and the whistleblower attorney often finds that it is still an effective tool to combat and deter fraud against the government by contractors that submit fraudulent claims. By allowing private individuals, known under the Act as “relators”, to bring these suits, the government is able to benefit from insider information that would have been unavailable in the absence of this legislation.
To prevent retaliatory firings, the False Claims Act provides whistleblower protection provision that protects whistleblowers from losing their jobs or suffering harassment because of their role in a qui tam/whistleblower/false claims case. The whistleblower law firm can work to ensure that legal action does not disrupt the client’s ability to make a living.
Beyond federal whistleblower claims, states and cities are adopting similar false claims legislation. The State of Illinois provides for False Claims protections under its Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act. The City of Chicago also has an ordinance modeled on the False Claims Act. The ordinance contains qui tam provisions that allow for private enforcement and whistleblower protection.
On March 10, 2011, Clifford Law Offices’ whistleblower attorney staff served as co-counsel to Sean Mason, an employee of Medline Industries, Inc. Mason alleged that Medline engaged in a widespread illegal kickback scheme targeting hospitals and other healthcare providers that purchase medical and surgical products paid for by federal healthcare programs, resulting in violations of the federal False Claims Act. Clifford Law Offices helped obtain an $85 million settlement, 27.5 percent of which was awarded as compensation to Mason.
Selecting the right representation in a whistleblower case is very important. The process of a qui tam lawsuit necessarily involves the relator’s job and career. The experienced whistleblower attorney staff at the Chicago whistleblower law firm, Clifford Law Offices, understands that many individuals who pursue a false claims case see their whistleblowing as a civic duty. Therefore, we see it as our duty to assist our qui tam clients in minimizing the potential professional harm they could experience from pursuing a claim. At the same time, our whistleblower law firm works to maximize the reward to the relator. As a result of our experience litigating false claims issues, the whistleblower attorney team at Clifford Law Offices works with the Department of Justice, Attorneys General and other federal officials and investigators nationwide in efforts to halt various fraudulent practices.
Regardless of the jurisdiction, whistleblower/qui tam claims result from fraud in a number of different areas, including:
Clifford Law Offices encourages you to meet with a qui tam/ whistleblower attorney to help determine if you have a case. As a successful whistleblower law firm, we have experienced lawyers available for free consultation.