The federal False Claims Act allows private individuals with knowledge of fraud to bring a suit on behalf of the federal government. The “whistleblower” in a qui tam lawsuit is entitled to a substantial reward if the case recovers funds for the government. If you are considering a qui tam lawsuit here are some important points to consider.
Consult a Lawyer with Experience Handling Whistleblower Claims
Your lawyer should have detailed knowledge of the federal False Claims Act and experience filing qui tam lawsuits. A whistleblower claim can take years to investigate and prove. It is important to have a qualified lawyer to protect your interests every step of the way. Keep in mind that large sums of money are at stake and the government and your employer have their own interests at heart. Your lawyer’s role is to defend your reputation and protect you from retaliation. He or she will also work to ensure you receive your full share of the reward for risking everything by deciding to speak up against fraud.
If you suspect fraud you need to act quickly for two reasons. There are statutes of limitations for reporting and only the original whistleblower is entitled to a reward. Also, if the fraud becomes public knowledge before your case is filed, your lawsuit can be dismissed.
Do not discuss your qui tam lawsuit with anyone but your attorney. Though it may be tempting to talk with your family or friends about your case, keeping quiet about it is the best thing you can do. You do not want anyone to get the idea to file before you do as this will bar you from receiving for any reward. Additionally, there is a provision of the False Claims Act that prohibits claimants from discussing the existence of the suit until the government has completed their investigation. The case is sealed and if you violate the seal you give up your right to receive compensation at the end of the trial.
Document Your Evidence
You will need sufficient credible evidence to support your claim of fraud. Anything you can supply as proof will help your case. Make copies of documents that show fraud and keep them somewhere safe and outside of your workplace. Record dates of conversations and detail what was said. Try to notate any information pertinent to the case. You should also be sure to have copies of documents that show your own work record such as recommendations and evaluations with positive reviews. It is possible that during a trial your employer will try to discredit you.
Remain Strong in Your Convictions
It is not easy to decide to go up against your employer to expose fraud, but the government depends on whistleblowers to uphold standards of ethics and save fellow taxpayers millions of dollars while doing so. That is why the federal False Claims Act has been amended to make it more powerful and why many states have similar legislation available to prosecute fraud. Filing a qui tam lawsuit will no doubt be a lengthy and sometimes trying process, but one with promise of substantial moral and financial reward.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Whistleblowers File Qui Tam Lawsuits
Philadelphia qui tam lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have experience with countless qui tam cases. If you are ready to file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act, do not delay. Contact us online or call today at 215-569-1999. Our office is located in Center City Philadelphia, serving clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.