Whistleblower cases are civil lawsuits brought to collect money that has been fraudulently billed to the United States for excessive billing for . . .
• Defense contractors
• Housing subsidies
• Environmental cleanup
• And many other types of financial abuse of taxpayers’ money
Whistleblower cases, also known as Qui Tam cases, fall under the False Claims Act; they begin when a person has learned that a fraud has been committed against the United States and decides to “blow the whistle” on its perpetrators.
Qui Tam cases are commonly resolved by settlement without the need to go to trial. A whistleblower case typically settles, with the wrongdoers having to pay up to three times the amount of money they have stolen from the government. Whistleblowers are entitled to receive a percentage of the recovered money as a reward for turning in wrongdoers; depending on the size of the recovery, the reward is often millions of dollars.
FIRST STEP IN A WHISTLEBLOWER CASE: HIRE A LAWYER
Calling an experienced whistleblower lawyer is the first and most important step anyone can take after uncovering a fraud against the government. Whistleblower cases are extremely complex, with nuances that can make or break a successful case.
Since not all lawyers have experience in this area of the law, it is important to spend considerable time finding a lawyer who has both the experience and track record in successfully prosecuting these types of cases.
SECOND STEP: FILE THE LAWSUIT UNDER SEAL
Once the appropriate information is obtained, a lawsuit is filed secretly in Federal Court “under seal,” meaning that only the Justice Department and its lawyers are aware of the claim so that they can investigate the allegations without alerting the suspects.
Typically cases are filed under seal for up to 60 days. However, judges will commonly extend that time frame to allow the Justice Department to review the file to determine if they want to participate in the investigation. Our Miami false claims lawyers work side by side with the Justice Department’s lawyers to assist them in their investigation and maximize their chances of success.
It is not required that the whistleblower’s lawyers work with the Department of Justice lawyers as the False Claims act does permit individuals to pursue such matters with only their own attorneys. However, we have found that if the government decides to join an individual’s case, the chances of success are far greater. Historically, the United States intervenes or joins in only a very small number of whistleblower cases every year, selecting only those that pose the greatest chances of success or have the potential for multi-million-dollar recovery. When the United States joins a private whistleblower case, that collaboration is known as Federal intervention.
STEP THREE: THE REWARD
The person who brings the whistleblower suit is known as a “relater,” and if the case is settled, the relater is entitled to a reward ranging from 15% to 25% of the recovery if the United States Justice Department intervenes or prosecutes the case. However, if the United States attorneys refuse to get involved and we proceed with the case without their assistance, the whistleblower is rewarded with between 25% and 30% of the amount recovered.
FREE WHISTLEBLOWER CONSULTATION
If you believe you have uncovered a case where our federal tax dollars have been fraudulently over billed through Medicare, Medicaid, or any other scenario, contact our Florida whistleblower lawyers today for a free initial consultation regarding your potential rights. You may be entitled to a multi-million dollar reward.
Our lawyers are experienced in representing individuals and in working directly with the United States Assistant Attorneys in the successful investigation and prosecution of these crimes. Call us today toll free at 1-866-597-4529 or email me, Spencer Aronfeld, for a free and confidential consultation.