Whistleblowers & Qui Tam
Whistleblowers & Qui Tam Attorneys
Representation You Need
Whistleblowers & Qui Tam Attorneys
An employer’s fraudulent or illegal actions can put you, the employee, at risk of jeopardizing your hard-earned career and facing legal consequences. For those “whistleblowers” who are brave enough to expose corruption, laws have been created to shield you from wrongful discharge and other retaliation for doing the right thing. These laws not only provide state and federal law protection for employees, but possible financial incentive.
At McDonald & Cody, we advise clients of the qui tam issues involved in:
- Healthcare Whistleblower
- Insurance Fraud
- IRS Whistleblower
- Government Construction and Loan Fraud
- Government Contracts Whistleblower
- Medicaid fraud
- Medicare fraud
- Military Contract Whistleblower
- State Tax Whistleblower
Exposing the fraud
Those who take action when they see wrongdoing are helping all consumers and shareholders. They have the courage to take a stand against fraud and corruption they know is occurring in their workplace.
Qui tam is a provision in the FCA that allows private citizens with evidence of fraud perpetrated against the federal government to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the U.S. government. These citizens are rewarded with a substantial share in any financial recovery that’s made (typically 15-30% of the total amount).
The qui tam provision was enacted to encourage private citizens to come forward with information about entities defrauding federal programs, thus allowing the government to recoup stolen funds. Qui tam lawsuits differ from other types of lawsuits, such as personal injuries, in that the person bringing the suit is not the one who has been directly harmed.
Any person with information about fraud against the government – an employee, contractor, competitor, or someone else – can bring a qui tam lawsuit.
The government affords certain protections for whistleblowers. The FCA provides protection against retaliation: Whistleblowers may not be harassed, threatened, demoted, fired, or otherwise discriminated against because of their decision to come forward.
If you’ve been treated unjustly because you spoke out, you can file a lawsuit against your employer seeking damages including reinstatement (if you were fired) and back pay. Even if your claim turns out to be unsubstantiated, you are protected against retaliation provided your claim was made in good faith.
FREE CASE EVALUATION
Contact Our expert Trial Attorneys today for a FREE and confidential Whistleblower/Qui Tam consultation.
Why McDonald & Cody?
The philosophy at McDonald & Cody, LLC is to provide maximum results, one client at a time. We are dedicated to our cases and strive for quick, full and maximum compensation.
In qui tam lawsuits, fraud is defined as the intentional, significant misuse or theft of taxpayer funding. It also includes the misrepresentation of goods or services with the intent to earn unwarranted compensation, which can occur when companies bill the government for unperformed services. Fraud can be committed by a single individual or an entire organization, but the victim is always the innocent taxpayer who assumes their hard-earned money is going toward its intended purpose.
The False Claims Act (FCA) makes it illegal for any person or institution to intentionally file a false claim or create a false record regarding any federally funded program. In this case, “intentionally” includes acting with reckless disregard, which is when someone blatantly ignores the potential consequences their actions may bring. The “qui tam” provision of the FCA allows private citizens who have evidence of fraud to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party on behalf of the government.
Hardworking citizens and their tax dollars support our government programs. When money is stolen from these programs, it’s really stolen from the American people, as they’re the ones who ultimately pay the price for fraud. The brave individuals who expose this criminal behavior are nothing short of heroes, and their contribution to the preservation of justice is something that shouldn’t go unrewarded. Fortunately, the FCA contains a provision that allows whistleblowers to receive a financial reward for their actions.
If your qui tam lawsuit is successful in recovering defrauded funds, you could be eligible to receive between 15% and 30% of the total amount recovered. Although the promise of compensation is appealing, the real reward for whistleblowers is knowing that you’ve helped right a wrong and set an example for others to follow in the future.
The evidence you collect will mostly depend on the type of fraud you’re hoping to expose. However, detailed evidence is important throughout all qui tam cases, so you should ensure that all the information you collect is as comprehensive as possible. Items such as financial records, emails, and memorandums are often used in this type of litigation, but some whistleblowers choose to use a personal recording device to gather evidence as well. If you’re still in the process of collecting evidence for your case, make sure that it answers the following questions:
- Who is committing the fraud?
- Who knows about it?
- What violation is being committed/has been committed?
- When/where did the crime occur?
- Is the fraud ongoing?
- How was/is the fraud perpetrated
- What are the implications of the fraud for the government/public?
- How much money was defrauded?
If Your Employee Retaliates Against You
If you follow proper reporting procedures, your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you.
Retaliation can take a variety of forms, ranging from subtle workplace changes to being fired. Some of the most common types of retaliation include:
- Being fired
- Getting demoted or reassigned to a less desirable position
- Overtime and promotion requests being denied
- Unwarranted disciplinary actions
- “Blacklisting” the employee
- Harassment and intimidation
- Reducing hours or pay rate
- Ostracizing, isolating, or mocking the employee at work
- Making conditions so unbearable the employee is all but forced to quit
- Reporting or threatening to report the employee to law enforcement
If your employer does retaliate against you, an experienced Georgia whistleblower Trial Attorney can help you explore all of your options, including filing a suit against your (ex-)employer for lost wages and other damages.