Whistleblowers who report fraud against government programs may be entitled to an award and protection under the False Claims Act.
The federal False Claims Act was enacted to encourage whistleblowers, called relators under the act, to report fraud against government programs. To encourage whistleblowing, the False Claim Act allows whistleblowers to receive a percentage of any recover. Since damages are trebled under the FCA, a whistleblower’s award can be quite substantial.
The most common types of claims under the False Claims Act are cases involving Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud, Government Contract Fraud, and Federal Grant Fraud.
Claims under the False Claims Act are called “qui tam” lawsuits and are filed under seal – meaning in secrete. This allows the government time to investigate the claim and decide whether to intervene. If the government intervenes in the case, a whistleblower may receive up to 25% of any recovery.
The FCA also protects whistleblowers for workplace retaliation by their employer. Damages may include, two times back pay, reinstatement, special damages, and attorneys’ fees.
Before reporting the fraud, it is important to speak with an experienced whistleblower lawyer. Failure to follow the specific requirements of the False Claims Act may disqualify a whistleblower from receiving an award.
If you are considering becoming a whistleblower, contact Miller Law Group for a free consultation – or call 919-348-4361.
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Whistleblowers and The False Claims Act; Frequently Asked Questions