The False Claims Act – Rewards For Whistleblowers
Whistleblowers recovered over $326 million for reporting fraud in 2018, with $39 million being awarded to a single whistleblower.
Whistleblowers serve an important function in protecting tax payers. Every year the government is defrauded out of billions of dollars by businesses that wrongly charge or overcharge the government for goods and services. Without whistleblowers, much of this fraud would go undetected.
The False Claims Act (the “FCA”) has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms to recover funds that have been stolen from the government by corporations, contractors, and individual wrongdoers. Since 1986 (when Congress significantly strengthened the FCA), over $59 billion in settlements and recoveries have been recouped by the government.
Since 1986, nearly 10,000 qui tam actions have been filed under the FCA and more than $59 billion has been recovered.
Congress recognizes the vital role whistleblowers play in fighting fraud against the government. The FCA provides incentives to whistleblowers who have the courage to report fraud. If a defendant is found to have violated the FCA, it will be ordered to pay three times the amount of monetary damages sustained by the government, plus a penalty of up to $11,000 per false claim submitted. The whistleblower who initiated the successful lawsuit may receive a portion of the damages paid to the government as a whistleblower reward. Under the FCA, a whistleblower may receive a reward of 15-30% of the government’s recovery. The whistleblower may also be awarded reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees.
While the FCA encourages individuals to blow the whistle on fraud against the government, blowing the whistle can be complicated and whistleblowers should not go it alone. 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 has the experience, resources 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, the whistleblower attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard can help. For more information about the firm’s Qui Tam/Whistleblower Practice Group, contact Michael S. Bigin or Laurence J. Hasson.