After the government has reviewed the FCA complaint and disclosure statement, there may be a relator interview. The whistleblower—known as the relator— and their attorney will meet with the local U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the interview an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) will ask the whistleblower questions to determine their knowledge and credibility. The interview focuses on the allegations of the disclosure statement. The AUSA may also wish to discuss exhibits that were provided with the disclosure statement.
In addition to AUSA’s, other government officials may be involved in the interview, including investigators and additional attorneys from the Department of Justice. If the fraud involves one or more states which are named in the Complain, then attorneys and investigators from those governments may also attend.
Interviews with government attorneys may seem menacing, but the relator interview is typically amiable. The whistleblower and the government share a common interest, so it will not be an interrogation. It is intended to help the government understand the disclosure, build a stronger case, and determine if the government wishes to intervene. The whistleblower is always accompanied by their own private attorneys to answer any questions that may arise during the interview.