The Basics Of Qui Tam/Whistleblower Lawsuits

Because keeping companies honest works from the inside as well as the outside, our office also represents and defends whistleblowers working for government contractors or affiliated companies. If you have information that could potentially reveal misconduct or government fraud on the part of your employer or contracted affiliate, you can file a qui tam lawsuit in the name of the U.S. government under the federal False Claims Act.

What Is A Qui Tam Lawsuit?

Qui tam lawsuits — often more commonly referred to as "whistleblower lawsuits" — are civil lawsuits that are filed under seal in the federal court designed to protect the United States government from financial harm and fraud by third parties (usually medical laboratories, medical device and implant manufacturers, defense contractors, pharmaceutical companies, health care providers, university or other research facilities, and federal grant recipients). Qui tam litigation dates back to the 1860s when it was enacted to protect troops from the dangers of inadequate military equipment used in the fight for freedom.

A person who desires to bring a qui tam action or whistleblower lawsuit must file the litigation "under seal," which allows the United States government to investigate the claims for 60 days (unless extended) and make a determination if it will "intervene" in the case on behalf of the whistleblower. If the United States government declines to "intervene," the whistleblower still has the option of going forward to pursue the qui tam action. In either case, proper legal representation is essential not only to see that the case is properly advanced and prosecuted, but to also ensure you are fairly compensated for your efforts and information.

If I Disclose This Information How Am I Compensated?

As a whistleblower, you may be able to recover a monetary reward provided under the legislation of the federal False Claims Act (31 USC 3729-3733) to compensate you in your effort in coming forward to disclose the information. You are essentially seeking to bring litigation against the individual or individuals who may be responsible for the harm caused to the United States government on behalf of the United States of America.

Rewards for whistleblowers range from 15 to 25 percent of the recovery when the government intervenes and 25 to 30 percent if the government does not intervene. Having an attorney represent you in the matter will help ensure your efforts are properly documented and in turn help ensure the whistleblower receives proper compensation.

What Are Some Common Types Of Fraud Actions That May Rise To A Qui Tam Action?

  • Contractor fraud
  • Substitution of a cheaper or inferior product without government approval
  • Not meeting exact contract specifications
  • FHA mortgages obtained through false information
  • Misrepresentations involving municipal transactions, including mispricing of securities purchased by public pension funds, or local, state or federal governments
  • Falsely certifying municipal bonds as "tax exempt"
  • False claims submitted to Medicare and other government-funded health programs
  • Manipulation of payments to Medicare by health care providers
  • Upcoding by health care providers or Medicare billing companies
  • Health care providers billing Medicare for personal expenses or lobbying expenses
  • Kickbacks by pharmaceutical companies to physicians and specialists issuing prescriptions
  • Off-label marketing by pharmaceutical companies
  • Illegal sales and marketing programs
  • Pharmacies billing Medicaid full amount for partially filled prescriptions
  • Billing for lab tests not actually performed
  • Laboratory kickbacks to physicians to obtain their business
  • Billing Medicare for testing already paid for by other facilities
  • Billing Medicare for bundled lab tests as free-standing tests, resulting in increased costs to Medicare

Contact Kalinoski Law Offices P.C. Today

If you know of violations by any health care provider, defense contractor, pharmaceutical company or bank or financial institution to defraud the U.S. government, call 570-906-8173 or contact us online.