Podcast
Latest stream of conscience
blog
Search Resources

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A WHISTLEBLOWER REWARD UNDER THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT?

March 22, 2022

Whistleblowers, called relators under the False Claims Act, may file complaints alleging violations of the FCA under seal with the Department of Justice. FCA lawsuits initiated by relators are known as qui tam actions and, if successful, a relator is entitled to share in a portion of the government’s recovery from those lawsuits.

Where the Government intervenes in a relator’s case and takes over the litigation, the whistleblower is entitled to between 15 and 25 percent of the Government’s recovery. On the other hand, if the Government declines to intervene, a whistleblower may still litigate the action on the Government’s behalf. In those matters, known as declined or non-intervened cases, relators are eligible for 25 to 30 percent of any recovery made.

To establish a cause of action under the FCA, one must demonstrate that a person or company knowingly presented, or caused to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the federal government. Or one must demonstrate that an individual or entity made a false record or statement to get such a claim paid.

In addition, liability can be established under the FCA pursuant to a “reverse false claim” theory. A reverse false claim can be demonstrated where a defendant knowingly made, used, or caused to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government or knowingly concealed or knowingly and improperly avoided or decreased an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government.

Finally, FCA liability can be shown through conspiracy. Such a conspiracy entails the existence of an unlawful agreement between the defendants to get a false or fraudulent claim reimbursed by the government and at least one act performed in furtherance of that agreement.

READ
Does My Client Have a Whistleblower Rewards Claim?

Where liability can be shown, the potential for damages in FCA cases can be significant. The statute calls for damages available to the Government to be trebled (or tripled). Civil penalties are also provided for by the FCA. These penalties are adjusted yearly for inflation and, in 2022, range from $11,803 to $23,607 per violation. In addition, the FCA requires defendants to pay successful relators’ reasonable attorney fees, costs, and expenses.

Whistleblowers bringing FCA claims are often employees or ex-employees of the target defendant. But other individuals and organizations that could potentially have information serving as the basis for a FCA action include competitors of the target; non-profits; financial analysts; patients; fraud victims; data analytics professionals; or industry experts. The FCA does not require whistleblowers to be company insiders.

If you are considering filing a whistleblower complaint, please fill out our online form or contact us by phone at (215)567-8300 or via e-mail zarbitman@feldmanshepherd.com.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAIL LIST

Receive updates via email

Contact Us
Trial Lawyer Tales
  1. Inclined Sleepers: The Hidden Danger in Your Nursery

    Inclined Sleepers: The Hidden Danger in Your Nursery Feldman Shepherd product liability attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis discuss the dangers of inclined infant sleepers and why reports of 73 infant deaths and more than 1,000 incidents were allowed to mount for 14 years at the Consumer Product Safety Commission…

    Play Episode
  2. Boeing’s 737 MAX: A Crisis in Safety

    Aviation attorney/licensed pilot G. Scott Vezina explains the history of Boeing’s 737 MAX and takes listeners “inside the cockpit” to understand why the plane crashed twice, killing hundreds of people, before aviation authorities worldwide grounded it.

    Play Episode
Recent Posts