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Overview of a Qui Tam Claim:
Every year, the government enters into billions of dollars of contracts with private citizens and businesses. While, most of these contracts are conducted honestly and ethically a small amount give in to the temptation to cheat or steal or otherwise defraud the government. This fraud ends up hurting all citizens.
If you have information that a company or individual has defrauded the federal government, you may be able to file a lawsuit known as a qui tam action. A qui tam action helps the government recover money that has been lost due to false claims and fraud. The individual who brings the qui tam action receives a percentage of the monetary award if the defendant is found liable to the government. If you have knowledge of fraud against the government, seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney. Besides for the obvious reasons to hire an attorney, many courts have ruled that you must have an attorney in a qui tam action.
Under the federal False Claims Act, an individual with knowledge of misconduct can file a qui tam action. A qui tam action alleges that a false claim has been submitted to the government. False claims include knowingly overcharging the government for products or services; charging for services that were never provided; selling something and not delivering it; failing to properly test products ; making false reports about the quality of a product; or another action done with the intent to cheat, defraud or steal from the government.
While qui tam actions are usually brought by private individuals, the federal government has an important role to play. While government involvement varies from case to case, the first step always begins with the government, through the Department of Justice, conducting its own investigation of the alleged fraud. Depending on what the government decides, the case may proceed with or without their involvement. In cases with government involvement, the whistleblower will recover less; however, the government does much of the heavy lifting in those cases
Qui tam cases have the potential to produce sums of hundreds of millions, or billions of dollars by way of judgment or settlement. If a qui tam action is successful, a portion of the award will go to the person who initiated the action.
If you know of government fraud and would like to speak with an attorney experienced in handling these types of matters contact the attorneys at Snider & Associates, LLC