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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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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...

Washington DC Schools Food Vendor Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit for $19 Million

Jun 8, 2015
The largest food vendor for the Washington DC public schools has agreed to pay $19 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company overcharged the city and mismanaged the school meals programs. The settlement is the result of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former director of food services for D.C. Public Schools against Chartwells and Thompson Hospitality, which provided food services for public schools in the District starting in 2008. The suit alleged that food often arrived at...

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,...

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