Qui Tam (False Claims Act)
Sometimes being a whistleblower means even more than upholding the law or objecting to or refusing to participate in conduct that is fraudulent, illegal or in violation of public policy. Sometimes your employer is doing one of the worst things it can do – it’s cheating the state of New Jersey or the United States out of tax dollars, grant money or other funds.
The Federal False Claims Act is an act that encourages, protects and potentially rewards someone who “relates” to federal authorities evidence of fraud against the United States government. When someone files a lawsuit in a qui tam matter, the person is not a “plaintiff” but rather a special type of whistleblower called a “relator.”
There are specific procedural requirements that must be followed in such a lawsuit, and so it’s important that if you think you are a qui tam relator, that you do not discuss this status with anyone else before consulting with attorneys who know how to file qui tam lawsuits, such as the employment and civil rights lawyers at Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC
If your evidence of an employer’s defrauding of the United States government is sound, and if the matter is successfully litigated either by us or in conjunction with the United States Attorney and the United States Department of Justice, you may be entitled to what is called a “relator’s share” of whatever money the government recovers. These amounts can range anywhere from 10 to 15 percent on the low end, if the Department of Justice takes over, to as much as 25 or 30 percent if we pursue the matter ourselves without the aid of the DOJ.
The types of fraud that are covered by the qui tam statute might include health care fraud, Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, government contracting fraud, false information given to obtain grants or subsidies, or any other false information, whether knowingly provided by the employer or not, which results in fraudulently obtained money going to your employer.
The Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC, law firm accepts these cases on a “contingent” basis, which means that we take all of the financial risks, and that’s only fair since you’re taking the biggest risk of all by “blowing the whistle” in a qui tam matter.
The qui tam statute provides protection to “relators” who blow the whistle very similar to the protections afforded by New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act.