Overview – The False Claims Act
The False Claims Act encourages individuals with knowledge of fraud against the government to come forward by authorizing them to file an action in the name of the government, and by rewarding them with a percentage of any recovery achieved by that lawsuit. This is also referred to as Whistleblowing or Qui Tam. The False Claims Act has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms to recover funds that have been stolen from the government through fraud by corporations, contractors, and individual wrongdoers. Since 1986, more than 5,500 qui tam actions have been filed and more than $20 billion in settlements and recoveries have been recouped by the government under the False Claims Act.
Although the False Claims Act covers numerous forms of fraud on the government, the False Claims Act does not cover tax fraud. Blowing the whistle on those who commit tax fraud on the government is governed by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. As with the False Claims Act, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act offers individuals the opportunity to report tax fraud and receive a reward for helping the government recover money lost due to tax fraud or other violations of the tax laws. In fiscal years 2007 and 2008, the government recovered more than $181 million and $155 million, respectively, under the tax fraud whistleblower program.
While both the False Claims Act and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 encourage individuals to blow the whistle on fraud against the government, blowing the whistle can be complicated and difficult. Whistleblowers should not go it alone. Courts have often thrown out cases where a whistleblower attempted to proceed without a lawyer. Having attorneys experienced with litigating cases against major corporations, such as those in the Fortune 500, can help individuals blow the whistle on fraud against the government.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP has the experience, resources, investigative skills, and reputation for successfully taking on big corporations. Since its founding, the Firm has successfully litigated some of the largest fraud cases in the country. The Firm’s whistleblower lawyers have extensive experience providing legal advice and representation to individuals filing lawsuits against persons and entities who commit fraud and other wrongdoing.
If you choose to blow the whistle on fraud against the government, the lawyers in our Qui Tam/Whistleblower Practice Group can help you. Our whistleblower lawyers will work closely with you and commit the time and resources to help you receive compensation for the risks you take to blow the whistle on fraud. For more information about the Firm’s Qui Tam/Whistleblower Practice Group, contact Michael S. Bigin or Laurence J. Hasson.