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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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Whistleblower Accuses VA of Improperly Spending as Much as $6 Billion a Year

May 19, 2015
Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) did not have good answers at a congressional hearing looking into improper use of federal charge cards. Last week's hearing was called because of a whistleblower's letter that said the VA illegally spent up to $6 billion a year using purchase cards without proper contracts. The letter asserted the practice had been going on for years, KUSA-TV (Denver) reports. Representatives were reportedly incensed over allegations of widespread use of...

Washington State Jury Awards $1 Million to

May 6, 2015
In a jury verdict handed down on March 26, 2015 in Washington state, an employee of the state's ferry system, was awarded $1 million because the jury concluded that his employer demoted him as an act of retaliation in violation of the Washington State Employee Whistleblower Protection Act. The supervisor believed the employee to be a whistleblower, though, in fact, he was not. The plaintiff, a carpentry shop foreman for the Washington State Ferry System, the largest such system in the nation,...

DaVita HealthCare Partners Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit for $495 Million

May 6, 2015
Denver-based DaVita HealthCare Partners has agreed to pay $495 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit. DaVita is accused of defrauding the federal Medicare program of millions of dollars. This is the third whistleblower lawsuit since 2012, and payments now approach $1 billion, the Denver Post reports. This latest suit was filed in Atlanta in 2011 and involves a claim brought by a doctor and a nurse who worked for DaVita. According to legal documents, DaVita employees were throwing out...

SEC Awards Whistleblower over $600,000 in Retaliation Case

May 1, 2015
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded a whistleblower "over $600,000" in a retaliation case against hedge-fund advisory firm Paradigm Capital Management Inc. Wall Street Journal reports that the money was a 30 percent cut from the penalty Paradigm had to pay the SEC; it is the first time the agency has distributed part of a penalty to a tipster. Last year, the SEC charged Paradigm with engaging in prohibited principal transactions and for retaliating against an employee who...

Justice Department Imposes Fines of More Than $100 Million on Medical Device Makers

Apr 8, 2015
In their joint annual report on health care fraud and abuse control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say that during fiscal year 2014, the federal government won or negotiated approximately $3.3 billion in judgments and settlements. The report describes actions taken against pharmaceutical companies, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, medical and dental clinics, and medical device makers, JD Supra reports. Among the actions reported: Boston...

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