Federal False Claims Act / Qui Tam Actions
Perhaps you work for a large defense contractor. The company urges employees to bill 40 hours per week on the account, even if they don’t actually work all those hours. Over time the bill for unworked hours grows pretty large. Each such bill is a “false claim” to the government. Maybe you work for a doctor. A nurse or physician’s assistant sees patients, but the visit is recorded as performed by a doctor so the rate submitted to Medicare or Medicaid for payment is higher. That’s a false claim as well. Or perhaps you are told to bill work performed on one government contract to a different contract, because the company has maximized it’s permitted hours on the first contract but has hours remaining on the second. That’s a false claim as well.
You can bring these “false claims” against the wrongdoing company in court, as a “private attorney general” and keep some of the recovery as your reward. That’s known as a “Qui Tam” action. But be careful. This is a tricky area of the law and you need competent counsel to advise you, or you may unwittingly torpedo your case without knowing it. (For example, if you tell a non-attorney about the case, or report it informally to the company or the press, that could prevent you from filing the appropriate action in court.
In association with a major national law firm, we handle Federal False Claims Act cases, better known as "Qui Tam" actions. Qui Tam actions are cases brought on behalf of the federal government to recover monies paid by the federal government improperly due to false billing. Examples include timesheet fraud by government contractors, medical practices billing Medicare for services not performed, and other fraudulent billing practices to the government. The "Realtor" (the person bringing the case) must submit the case privately to the Department of Justice, and file under seal with the Court, before informing the alleged wrongdoer. The Realtor is permitted to keep a significant portion of the government's recovery.
If you think you have a potential Qui Tam case, please contact us. Your initial consultation on these cases is free.