Qui Tam- Brief Explanation
Should you have information in which someone has committed fraud on the government, you are eligible to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government against the individual or company. If the lawsuit is successful against the defendant*, you will be awarded a percentage of the recovery award. Our firm can provide you with a confidential review of your situation and assist you throughout the process of your claim.
What is a Qui Tam?
In its basic form, a Qui Tam law suit is brought by a citizen, known as a “relator” or whistleblower, against a company or person, that he knows is shortchanging or cheating the government, or breaching laws in some manner. The government may join the action with the informant and proceed against the defendant in cooperation with the informant’s legal counsel. The whistleblower is entitled to compensation for brining the attention to the illegal act.
Part D Fraud – Part D provides voluntary outpatient prescription medical and drug benefits for Medicare. Fraud involves false bids, false representations in documents submitted to CMS, false PDE information.
Hospital Fraud – Hospital fraud typically includes improper coding of diagnosis, observation claims, ambulatory payment classifications, false information to CMS, failure to return overpayments or insurance reimbursements and other violations of law, including illegal kickbacks.
Tax Fraud – Individuals or companies that under-report or do not report taxable transactions to the government. Companies may also use illegal accounting methods or transactions that hide tax obligations to the federal and state government.
Securities – You may be compensated for securities claims and commodity futures claims under the Dodd-Frank Act
Equipment Fraud – Medical equipment fraud encompasses the manufacturing, marketing and pricing of equipment without FDA approval and/or unapproved and dangerous uses.
Pharmaceutical Fraud – The basis of the fraud is from the improper manufacture, marketing, sales and/or pricing of pharmaceutical products.
Questions to Consider?
In addition to the federal statute, does New York State have a whistleblower statute?
Do I need any special qualifications to bring the action?
Can my employer retaliate against me by firing me?
If my employer fires me, am I entitled to damages?
If my company has limited assets, can I still bring an action and be compensated?
What is a Whistleblower?
If you have knowledge of individual or business practices or behavior that cheats the federal or a state government, injures shareholders, or conceals the obligation to pay taxes, are in a position to bring these claims to the surface.
Qui Tam Explained
What is the False Claims Act? How does a qui tam case work?
Qui tam lawsuits are a type of civil lawsuit where individuals with information whereby the government is wronged in some manner, referred to as “whistleblowers”, bring under the False Claims Act. The Act provides the whistleblower with a reward if their qui tam cases recover funds for the government. The purpose of the law is to prevent fraud on the government and is frequently used to prevent fraud in Medicare and Medicaid fraud, pharmaceutical Fraud, defense contractor fraud and numerous other types of frauds that impact the government. The law allows the individual bringing the case to collect a percentage of the final award as an incentive for revealing the information. A critical element of the False Claims act is that it prevents retaliation against the individual regarding employment retaliation and employment termination. Cases proceed by the government under seal to the Justice Department to minimize exposure to the informant. In this manner, while the Justice Department investigates the claim, the perpetrator of the fraud is not aware that there is an investigation.
In some instances, qui tam cases are resolved through settlement negotiations rather than a court trial, although trials may occur. Depending on the complexity of the case, the time frame for resolution varies with the degree of complexity and amount of evidence brought forward. In this regard, it is important for the whistleblower to inform their attorney with as much detail regarding the fraud as possible (ex: persons involved, written records, what computer information, how performed). Rewards for the plaintiff can range form 15% to 30% depending on the degree in which they present their facts to the Justice Department, the widespread nature of the fraud and the size of the financial fraud. The total penalty to the defendant can be as great as three times the size of the fraud committed on the government.