Qui Tam Attorney in Washington, DC
Qui tam is a an abbreviation of a latin phrase which translates to “who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter.” qui tam is now commonly used to describe the portions of the federal and state False Claims Acts which allow individuals to file a case on behalf of the government.
How did the qui tam provisions in the federal False Claims Act originate?
The False Claims Act of 1863 was originally enacted as a means to combat fraudulent activities perpetrated by government supply companies during the Civil War. The early version of the law included qui tam provisions to encourage individuals to report fraud. Under the current law, a private citizen can file a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government, but should do so only under the guidance of an experienced qui tam attorney.
Allegations of misconduct can take several different forms under federal and state False Claims Acts. Situations that may warrant taking action include:
- Work practices that violate state or federal laws
- Work practices that pose a threat to public interest such as billing for two government contracts at the same time
- Corrupt business practices including kickbacks, bribes or fraudulent financial activity
- Failure to inspect and maintain quality of production
Anyone involved in a federal investigation may want to consider seeking legal counsel regardless of whether their position is that of the accused or the accuser. It’s not uncommon for whistleblowers to find themselves in precarious positions in terms of their employment status and possible retaliations from an employer. Price Benowitz, LLP, a law firm which handles white collar crimes has a strong track record when it comes to defending client rights in criminal defense. Our Washington, DC qui tam attorneys are very experienced in handling all types of whistleblower cases. That type of experience could prove vital when you are involved in a potentially high profile case.
Most claims filed under the federal qui tam provision involve health care providers, military contractors but any company funded by a government spending program would be liable for fraud under the Act. Some of the government agencies affected include:
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Energy
- Department of Education
Most notably tax fraud is the subject of an entirely separate law. It is possible to file what is called an IRS qui tam for tax fraud if a whistleblower knows about a very large fraudulent scheme to avoid taxes. The IRS whistleblower law is not filed in Court but rather is handled in under a different procedure. This is a relatively newer law, but the IRS is now starting to make payments to whistleblowers who provide information of large scale tax fraud.
The law firm of Price Benowitz, LLP has earned several awards and high ratings from renowned legal establishments, some of which include Martindale Hubbell, AVVO and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. An in-depth knowledge of the law is a must when fighting for client rights in the courtroom. We have the experience needed to ensure client rights are protected and any reward amounts due awarded in cases involving qui tam law. If you think you have a case, please contact a Washington, DC based qui tam attorney in our office today.
How successful are qui tam lawsuits?
There have been billions of dollars recovered by federal and state governments thanks to qui tam lawsuits. There have also been millions of dollars awarded to the whistleblowers who pursued qui tam litigation. Of course, not every case is successful. Many cases may not be worth filing. Others may be worth millions of dollars. Again, it is important to contact a qui tam attorney to determine if you have a case which is worth pursuing.
Who can be a defendant in a qui tam lawsuit?
Virtually any person that violates the federal, state or municipal False Claims Act can become a defendant of a qui tam lawsuit.
If a person reports misconduct internally, but nothing is done, should the misconduct be reported through a qui tam action?
First the person should contact a lawyer to determine if the misconduct rises to the level of a claim under the False Claims Act. If so, the misconduct can be reported this way. An attorney can also advise the person as to their rights including their rights to a portion of a successful government recovery.
Are there laws to protect the people who are known as whistleblowers?
Yes, the federal False Claims Act provides whistleblowers with rights.
What happens if an employer does retaliate against a whistleblower?
Under the federal False Claims Act, if an employer does retaliate against a person for reporting fraud and that person succeeds in a qui tam lawsuit, the defendant will be liable for damages to the person who reported the fraud. Damages can include two times back pay and interest and re-instatement. The actual amount of such damages is of course the subject of litigation.
The attorneys at Price Benowitz LLP can aid whistleblowers who are experiencing a hostile work environment and assist them in reporting the alleged fraud.
David Benowitz is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, the leading directory of U.S. attorneys. David Benowitz is also rated a perfect 10 by AVVO, a leading consumer advocate in the legal field. He’s a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University School of Law and a faculty member at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. If you are a potential whistleblower, the law office of David Benowitz is ready to protect your rights and freedom. Contact his office today for a free consultation.