False Claims Act (FCA) – Defrauding the Government
The False Claims Act is the most significant qui tam or whistleblower law in the country. It provides extensive rewards for an individual (called a “relator”) who provides original information to the government that a company is submitting false claims or otherwise defrauding the government. The FCA was enacted in 1863 and has been amended a number of times, including most recently in 2010. Throughout the past several years, the FCA has led to billions of dollars being recovered by the U.S. government and dozens of major companies being exposed for ripping off taxpayers.
Whistleblowers under the FCA are required to file complaints in federal court, under seal, along with the U.S. Attorney General. The FCA has a very broad reach because it protects whistleblowers who expose any type of fraud or misuse of federal funds–and the federal government spends trillions of dollars on myriad contracts with private parties around the world, is the largest employer in the U.S. and does business in virtually every state in the world. If a whistleblower learns of any fraud involving taxpayer dollars, then they are likely able to pursue an FCA claim. FCA relators are entitled to recover a reward between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery by the United States, which can–and indeed, has–resulted in massive recoveries for whistleblowers.
FCA whistleblowers are also protected from retaliation by their employers if they make a protected report under the FCA. If you are aware of government fraud or have questions about the FCA or qui tam laws, contact Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel today for a consultation.