The False Claims Act was created to fight fraud against the government. Because most fraud goes unreported, congress created an incentive in the FCA to encourages insiders to report fraud. The incentive is referred to as the “Relator’s Share.”
Whistleblowers are referred to as “Relators” under the False Claims Act. Relators are often employees of a company who are aware of that the company is defrauding the government. A common example would be a medical assistant who has knowledge that her employer is billing Medicare & Medicaid for services that are not being provided.
To report fraud under the FCA, the relator must file a claim on behalf of the government. The claim is referred to as a “qui tam” lawsuit. The lawsuit is required to be filed under seal (meaning in secrete) to allow government to the opportunity to decide whether to intervene in the case.
The Relator’s Share: If the government choses to intervene in the case, the government then assumes responsibility for prosecuting the lawsuit. The relator’s share is up to 25% of any recovery when the government intervenes. If the government does not intervene, the relator’s share is up to 30% of any recovery.
Damages under the FCA are trebled, and includes fines and costs. So, if the fraud amount is $3 millions, damages could be $9 million plus fines and costs.
If you are considering become a whistleblower, contact Miller Law Group for a free consultation, or call 919-348-4361.