Among these are Civil Investigative Demands (CID’s). CID’s allow the government to demand that the defendant produce documents, answer written questions, or even provide oral testimony during the early stages of a whistleblower investigation. 31 U.S. Code § 3733(a)(1).
The timing of CID’s is critical. Initially, FCA actions are filed “under seal” (meaning “in secret”). § 3730(b)(2). This means that the whistleblower only serves court filings on the government and the court—not the defendant. Sealed filings grant whistleblowers anonymity at the inception of an FCA action, protecting them from retaliation by the defendant, who is often the whistleblower’s employer. Because CID’s can be used by the government while the case is still sealed, the defendant must provide information while they remain unaware of the whistleblower’s identity.