What You Should Know About Qui Tam
The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos in Maryland represents individuals in bringing claims against companies and organizations that have violated the law by defrauding the government.
Qui tam is a provision allowing individuals with knowledge of a company’s fraudulent activity to file suit against that company. However, the individual filing the complaint typically has not been harmed by the fraudulent activity, but is making the complaint on behalf of the government. Below, the qui tam attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos have provided important information regarding qui tam.
What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act imposes liability on any individual or organization for illegally withholding or receiving payments from the federal government. Citizens with knowledge of such fraudulent activity are encouraged to file a Complaint against the alleged individuals or organizations on behalf of the United States Government.
What qualifies as a violation of the False Claims Act?
Actions that can be classified as fraud against the federal government, its programs or contracts can qualify as a violation of the False Claims Act. This includes:
- Conspiring to obtain fraudulent payment by the federal government
- Providing misinformation or deliberately deceitful information to elicit payment by the federal government
- Providing a fraudulent claim in attempt to elicit payment by the federal government
- Concealing information through false statements or records that would have otherwise required payment to the federal government
Who can file a Qui Tam action?
Any individual or organization with evidence of fraud against the federal government may file a qui tam claim. But, if another party has already filed a lawsuit based on the similar evidence as that claim, the new lawsuit may be denied.
Are there statutes of limitations for filing a Qui Tam lawsuit?
There are in fact statutes of limitations for filing a qui tam lawsuit. Under the False Claims Act, a claim may only be filed up to six years after the fraudulent activity occurred, or up to three years after the government was aware—or should have been—of the fraudulent activity. In cases of the latter, the claim must be filed within ten years of the illegal activity.
Are awards offered under the False Claims Act?
Yes. If the government decides to pursue a lawsuit against the defendant, and the suit is successful, the individual who initially filed the claim is entitled to a monetary award from the recovery of the lawsuit. Depending on various factors, including the quality of the case and the involvement of the relator’s attorney in assisting the government, this reward can range from 15 to 25 percent of the recovery.
It is essential to have experienced counsel on your side when filing qui tam claims. False Claims Act litigation is often complex and expensive, as large companies and organizations have substantial funding for protecting their interests in the event of lawsuits. Further, if the government decides to join your case, having an attorney who can assist the government in achieving success will benefit you in terms of receiving a reward. Contact the qui tam attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter Angelos, P.C. for a free evaluation of your claims.