Pearland Whistleblower Lawyer
The False Claims Act (FCA) enables private citizens to assist the government in conducting fraud investigations for conduct perpetrated against the government. Individuals who have witnessed fraud and other wrongful conduct can act as “whistleblowers” or “relators” by notifying the government of the illegal activity, prompting the government to undertake its own investigation. The FCA’s unusual provisions allow whistleblowers to bring their own “qui tam” lawsuits on behalf of the government and even keep a portion of the proceeds recovered from the wrongdoers.
If you have witnessed fraudulent conduct perpetrated at the expense of the government, such as in the execution of a federal contract, you have the power to step forward. The seasoned Pearland whistleblower lawyer at Keith B. French Law, PLLC will help you notify the government and bring your claims to court. The Firm’s founding attorney has firsthand knowledge of how government investigations operate, giving him the advantage in determining whether the government will take the case and knowing how to ensure that they do intervene.
Bringing a False Claims Act Case
The False Claims Act prohibits persons or entities from knowingly misleading or defrauding the government in a manner that causes the government to suffer monetary loss. FCA claims can be based on overcharging the government for a product or service, underpaying the government, keeping overpayments received, providing a service different to or cheaper than that which the government expected, misrepresenting one’s business or business practices, or otherwise engaging in fraudulent conduct directed at the government.
A qui tam FCA claim must be based either on information that has not become public, or on information that was originally sourced from the specific whistleblower. Only the first whistleblower to file a case is entitled to proceed and collect the reward. The FCA is not meant to deal with tax fraud. Notably, even if the whistleblower participated in the fraud, they can still blow the whistle and collect under the FCA, so long as they have not been criminally convicted for that conduct. There are additional administrative and legal intricacies necessary to file a qui tam FCA action; having a knowledgeable FCA attorney on your side throughout the process is essential.
Whistleblowers Earn Monetary Rewards
Blowing the whistle on parties that defraud the government is not only the right thing to do; it’s also lucrative. The qui tam provisions of the FCA allow private whistleblowers, known as relators, to bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States government against perpetrators of false claims. “Qui tam” simply refers to an individual having the capacity to sue on behalf of the government.
To encourage private citizens to become whistleblowers, the FCA authorizes whistleblowers to collect a portion of the proceeds. Whistleblowers can keep anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the amounts recovered in a successful qui tam action. The FCA authorizes the government to recover up to three times its actual losses caused by the fraud, which opens the door for huge rewards for whistleblowers.
Whether the government chooses to intervene and take over the case may affect the whistleblower’s total recovery. The process is as follows: The whistleblower notifies the government, retains an attorney, and files a qui tam complaint. The Department of Justice and other relevant agencies conduct an investigation, which typically involves interviewing the relator, interviewing other witnesses, and collecting documentary evidence. After reviewing the allegations and the evidence, the government decides whether to “intervene” and take over the litigation. Even if the government decides not to intervene, the whistleblower can choose to continue pursuing the qui tam action. The whistleblower is entitled to a share of the proceeds either way.
Whistleblowers can recover between 15 and 25 percent of the proceeds if the government intervenes. If the government does not intervene and the whistleblower wins the case on their own, they are entitled to between 25 and 30 percent of the proceeds.
Former Government Attorney With firsthand Knowledge of the Whistleblower Process
Whistleblower attorney Keith B. French previously served as an Assisted United States Attorney (AUSA) for the federal government. While acting as an AUSA, Mr. French handled qui tam actions and investigations involving the False Claims Act. Mr. French is intimately familiar not only with the relevant statutes but also with how the government conducts its investigations and responds to whistleblowers. Keith B. French Law has a distinct advantage in evaluating what evidence will persuade the government to intervene as well as what claims are likely to be successful in court. If you hope to file a successful whistleblower action, contact Keith B. French Law.
Talk to a Dedicated Pearland Whistleblower Attorney at Keith B. French Law About Your Case
If you have knowledge of fraudulent conduct committed against the federal government, you could be entitled to a significant monetary award. The qui tam whistleblower attorney at Keith B. French Law, PLLC is ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Keith B. French Law today for a free consultation and find out how the Firm can help you serve justice and earn a substantial reward in the process.