If you have exposed wrongdoing in your company or organization that causes financial harm to the government, it is critical to consult a knowledgeable Alabama qui tam lawyer at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP as soon as possible. Qui tam cases are legally complicated, but a skilled attorney can offer you legal advice and help you navigate the legal process.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, our lawyers have extensive experience handling qui tam cases for whistleblowers who have exposed fraud or other improper billing to the government within an organization or company. Our lawyers have been involved in False Claims Act cases returning more than $1.8 billion to the United States Treasury. Whistleblowers play an integral role in publicizing fraudulent activity against the United States and State governments, which also protects consumers from bad business practices.
For more than 20 years, the qui tam attorneys of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have been advocating for everyday to return stolen tax dollars to the United States and State treasuries. Our attorneys are intimately familiar with the intricacies of the False Claims Act and have helped numerous whistleblowers successfully resolve their qui tam cases over the years.
We understand that exposing evidence of financial wrongdoing can be frightening and stressful, which is why our lawyers will fight to defend your rights, protect you from retaliation, and obtain compensation for any retaliation you suffer . For assisting the government and providing evidence of financial fraud, you may receive between 15-30 percent of any recovery the government obtains.
If you have uncovered evidence of financial fraud on the government at your company or organization, contact us for a free consultation so you can better understand your legal rights and options.
Common Examples of Qui Tam Cases
There are many different types of qui tam/whistleblower cases that can be brought under the False Claims Act (FCA) and other whistleblower laws. The FCA holds entities that defraud the government liable for damages that result from their wrongdoing. The law has been around since the 19th century and is sometimes referred to as the Lincoln Law.
Through the FCA, private citizens, such as employees of companies that commit fraud, can file “qui tam” lawsuits on behalf of the federal or state government against organizations or businesses that have committed fraud against the government. If the qui tam case is successful, the private citizen who originally brought the suit on behalf of the government is entitled to recover some of the government’s financial award.
Some common types of qui tam cases include:
- Defense contractor fraud
- Overbilling the government
- Violations of Material Contract Provisions
- Upcoding of medical conditions, procedures or diagnosis groups
- Kickback violations
- Stark Law violations
- Medically unnecessary services
- Drug pricing fraud
- Claims for services not performed
- Overutilization of tests or medical procedures
- False cost report certifications
- Health care fraud, such as Medicare or Medicaid billing fraud
- Laboratory fraud
- PPP loan fraud and other Covid relief fraud
- Pharmaceutical fraud
- Tax fraud
- Financial fraud, including accounting fraud, SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) fraud, and money laundering
- Bank and mortgage fraud
- Consumer fraud, including knowingly selling defective products or deliberately misrepresenting a product or service
- Education and financial aid fraud
- Scientific research fraud
No matter what type of fraudulent activity you have uncovered, you should immediately seek an attorney’s advice to find out whether you have a legitimate claim, and to ensure that you don’t accidentally disqualify yourself from obtaining a portion of the government’s compensation, should your suit be successful.
How to Bring a Qui Tam Case
Bringing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act can be challenging, but a seasoned qui tam lawyer can guide you through every step of the process. The process is different than filing a typical lawsuit and steps must be followed in order to prevent losing your rights under the law. It is crucial to act quickly, as whistleblowing cases are time-sensitive. If you have uncovered evidence of fraud causing financial harm to the government, you should speak to a lawyer right away. You only have a limited time to file a qui tam claim. If you are lodging a complaint with the False Claims Act, you must do so within six years of the alleged illegal activity.
It’s also important to note that you will only be entitled to recover a portion of the government’s damages if you are the first whistleblower to file under the False Claims Act. This is also true for most other state and federal qui tam statutes. If another person files a complaint before you do, based on similar facts, you will not be able to obtain any financial reward.
This is an overview of the typical steps in a qui tam case:
To bring a successful complaint that persuades the government to take action, you will need to provide considerable documentation of fraudulent activity. The more documentation you have, the more likely it is that the government will investigate the alleged wrongdoing. Evidence may include emails, memos, letters, financial statements, and other records that back up the allegations you present. The False Claims Act requires you provide your evidence to the government BEFORE you file suit. Typically, this is done in a privileged written document containing the evidence you have to back up your claim. This is called a disclosure statement. The more thorough your disclosure statement is, the better equipped the government is to investigate the case. The experienced qui tam lawyers at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help you evaluate the evidence you have, put it together and explain it to the government in a written disclosure statement that will assist the government in its investigation.
File a Complaint
To file your claim with the False Claims Act, you must submit a complaint under seal in the appropriate District Court. You will also need to submit a copy of your complaint to the United States Attorney General and your local U.S. Attorney. Because the procedural steps involved in preparing a disclosure statement and filing a qui tam complaint are complex, it is highly recommended that you seek an attorney’s help.
Cooperate with the Government Investigation
The government will investigate your claim and decide whether to take your case on. Because you filed the complaint under seal, your identity will be protected during the investigation. You will likely need to submit to interviews during this time to explain your case and answer questions regarding the facts and the evidence you presented. Your Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP attorney will be with you at all such interviews to advise you and protect your rights. The government may also seek additional evidence and documentation from your company or organization through interviews of witnesses and civil investigative demands for documents.
If the government intervenes and takes over the case, the government will take the lead role in litigation with assistance from you and your lawyer. You can still be a strong resource for the government and will most likely be asked to testify in court. After your identity is revealed, your company or organization might try to retaliate against you by firing you or taking other action, but whistleblowers are protected from retaliation by numerous laws on both the state and federal levels. If the company or organization retaliates against you, you can bring a lawsuit against them and recover any losses you suffer.
Contact an Alabama Qui Tam Lawyer at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP Today
Have you uncovered fraudulent activity causing financial harm to the government in your organization or place of work? Contact the qui tam lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP at (205) 324-1212 today to discuss your case and review your legal options.