Qui Tam (also known as “False Claims” or “Whistleblower” cases)
If you know of a company taking advantage of the government or government contractors through fraudulent or unethical billing practices or by paying “kickbacks” in whatever form to encourage someone to make a Medicaid/Medicare claim or any other claim against the government, you may qualify as a “whistleblower”. When companies defraud the government or government-subsidized programs and agencies, the whistleblower can file a “Qui-Tam” action.
Defrauding the government is illegal, and people who report fraud against the government may receive substantial compensation. These claims typically include suspect Medicare/Medicaid billing practices, but can also include making false or inflated claims under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Cares Act) and Paycheck Protection Program. For example, a company who falsely claims to have fewer than 500 employees, or, falsely claims to have more employees than it actually has to secure a larger payment, is defrauding the government and the whistleblower may be entitled to substantial compensation.
Most people with knowledge of fraud are employees or competitors of the company perpetuating the fraud, and they are concerned about the impact of coming forward. A Qui-Tam lawsuit is initially filed “in camera” so the lawsuit is not served on the defendant or made public record. The government is given an opportunity to review the case and elect whether to join in the case. The case only becomes public once the government has decided whether to join. If the government decides not to join, the whistleblower may proceed with the case themselves. The False claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3730) makes it illegal to retaliate against whistleblowers.
If you would like to discuss your situation in a completely confidential setting, please contact us.