The False Claims Act was created back in the Civil War years to allow private citizens to file suit against those that have committed fraud against the government. Those who are aware of violations, which generally include cheating the government, can report these crimes and sue perpetrators on behalf of the government and receive compensation of up to thirty percent of the money that the government recovers in suits in which they prevail. Because the damages under the False Claims Act are up to three times the amount of the fraud, plus additional penalties, this can quickly add up to large sums. The False Claims Act has resulted in billions of dollars being recovered by the government, and those who have filed suit on their behalf have been praised for their courage as well as rewarded financially. People who file these suits are known as whistleblowers, and a False Claims Act attorney is an integral part of their ability to have their cases heard and won.
The official legal term for whistleblowers who file False Claims Act is “relator”. The government established the high compensation for relators as an incentive for those who possessed inside information to come forward, and the program has been highly successful. It is estimated that False Claims recoveries have resulted in $40 billion being recovered by the government in the last thirty years, and nearly half of that has been a result of whistleblower claims. But filing a False Claims Act is not as simple as notifying the government of wrongdoing or as filing a simple lawsuit. There is a specific and complex process that must be followed, with complaints being filed under seal in a U.S. District Court and a copy of the complaint along with an inventory of evidence sent to the Attorney General of the United States and the local United States Attorney. The government will carefully assess and investigate the investigations while the complaint is under seal, and this can take months or even years.
Once the complaint has been made public the government will let the whistleblower know whether they are going to become formerly involved – the government may take the lead, may include the relator in the case, or may choose not to become involved, in which case the relator can continue the case on his own, on behalf of the government. In all cases, the False Claims Act attorney plays an integral role, as it is essential that they have the knowledge of all of the procedures required, as well as the correct way to prepare a compelling case that the government will choose to become involved in.
False Claims Act claims fall under a strict statute of limitations that can be as short as six years, and only the first whistleblower that reports fraud will be eligible for compensation. If you are privy to information about fraud against the government and believe that it is appropriate for a whistleblower lawsuit, contact the experienced False Claims Act attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz as soon as possible. Our knowledge and expertise will help you to get the compensation and reward that you deserve.
Learn more about the False Claims Act here – http://bochettoandlentz.com/practice-areas/qui-tam-false-claims-litigation/