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Qui Tam

Qui Tam (or Whistleblower) Laws Have a Long History

Qui Tam | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Whistleblowers, Moneys Recovered, Civil False Claims Act | Defective Products, Inferior Material, Illegal Price Gouging, Union Army

Qui Tam (or Whistleblower) Laws Have a Long History

Qui Tam (or Whistleblower) Laws Have a Long History

Qui Tam, or whistleblower, laws have existed in Western cultures for over 600 years. An early example can be traced back to the U.S. Civil War, when Congressional hearings disclosed widespread instances of military contractor fraud that included defective products, substitution of inferior material, and illegal price gouging of the Union Army.

At the urging of Abraham Lincoln, Congress enacted the Civil False Claims Act, including Qui Tam provisions, as a tool to fight fraud. Between 1863 and 1986 the law was seldom used. But as a result of 1986 amendments, Qui Tam actions have increased dramatically and have been the most effective and successful means of combating procurement and program fraud. Since 1986, Qui Tam recoveries have exceeded $1 billion with most of the successes involving fraud in Defense and Health Care programs.

The False Claims Act states that whistleblowers are to be rewarded with a percentage of the money that the government recovers as a result of Qui Tam lawsuits. This provision helps encourage people to assist the government in reducing Medicare fraud, defense fraud and other kinds of fraud, despite the effect whistleblowing might have on their jobs and personal lives.

Under the False Claims Act the government may recover up to three times the amount of money it lost as a result of the defendant's fraud. The whistleblower's share is calculated based upon the amount the government recovers, not the actual losses.

A number of factors determine how much money a whistle-blower will receive if the government is able to recover money from the defendant. If the government joins the case, the whistleblower is entitled to at least 15 percent, but not more than 25 percent of what the government recovers.

If the government declines to join the case and the whistleblower continues with a suit against the defendant, the whistleblower is entitled to at least 25 percent, but not more than 30 percent of the money the government recovers.

Affordable Care Act Infuses Qui Tam with New Lifeblood

The Affordable Care Act, passed during President Obama’s administration, has enabled the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand its efforts to prevent and fight fraud, waste and abuse. Since passage of the act, the CMS has revoked the ability of some 14,663 providers and suppliers to bill Medicare since March 2011; it has also recovered $14.9 billion.

Seniors on Medicare played a large role in helping the government to make that recovery; primarily, they used a Medicare hotline to report instances of fraud they noticed on their statements. As of mid-2013, the government was working on bolstering its efforts to incentivize these Medicare whistleblowers: It has proposed legislation that will enable whistleblowers to collect nearly $10 million in some instances; the previous cap has been about $10,000. Additionally, the CMS will be rolling out redesigned quarterly Medicare statements, which are meant to help seniors more easily notice fraudulent billings.

Legal Help for Individuals Who Would Like to Bring About a Qui Tam Lawsuit

If you are a current or former employee and have information on any illegal activities, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

 

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Watchdog Employees are Protected by State Whistleblower Law, New Jersey Supreme Court Rules

Jul 20, 2015
New Jersey's whistleblower law applies to watchdog employees, the state's Supreme Court ruled recently. In a 38-page decision, Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote that the unanimous decision supports a previous appeals court ruling, NJ Spotlight reports. Whistleblower laws are intended to protect employees who report misconduct or other type of wrongdoing. This has been an important part of detecting fraud, since the government is often limited in how it can reinforce rules. According...

AstraZeneca Agrees to Settle Lawsuit over Medicaid Drug Rebate Program for $46.5M

Jul 10, 2015
AstraZeneca has agreed to a $46.5 million settlement (plus interest) to resolve allegations that it underpaid rebates owed under Medicaid, The News Journal reports. The allegations stem from a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2008 alleging that the company lowered rebates they paid to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program by falsely reporting prices. Originally, the whistleblower's allegations involved 30 pharmaceutical companies; the number of defendants was eventually lowered to four. In exchange...

Whistleblowers in DaVita Case May Receive over $110 Million

Jun 30, 2015
Two whistleblowers may receive more than $110 million for their efforts in uncovering fraud by their employer, DaVita Healthcare Partners. DaVita is the largest provider of dialysis services in the country; an Atlanta doctor and nurse alleged that the company engaged in a scheme to defraud the federal government. Allegedly, DaVita schemed to maximize federal reimbursements by wasting dialysis drugs. Until 2011, the federal government reimburse for wasted dialysis medicine so long as the...

SEC Provides Strong Support for Whistleblowers

Jun 19, 2015
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law in 2010, included an ambitious whistleblower bounty program. In the four years since the law has been in effect, the whistleblower program has proved very successful, due in large part to the support of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has awarded payments totaling over $50 million to whistleblowers; appeared as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in support of whistleblowers seeking protection...

Whistleblower Reveals National Security Concerns in Green Card Program for Wealthy Foreigners

Jun 16, 2015
In testimony last week on Capitol Hill, a special agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement exposed serious national security concerns in a controversial immigration program that has been a route to Green Cards for wealthy foreigners. Senior Special Agent Taylor Johnson said her Homeland Security investigation uncovered visa applicants from China, Russia, Pakistan, and Malaysia who had been approved in as little as 16 days, even though their applications "lacked basic necessary law...

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