Tucker Arensberg Attorneys Criminal Defense Group

White Collar Crime, Internal & Government Investigations

False Claims Act / Qui Tam

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The False Claims Act’s qui tam provision is one of the strongest whistleblower protection laws in the United States. However, it has many complicated components and requirements, which can harm any person that pursues such a claim without counsel.

The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. Sections 3729 through 3733) is the oldest qui tam law, originally enacted in 1863 but later amended in 1943 and 1986. It has been further strengthened by recent amendments in 2009 and 2010. Since its modernization in 1986, it has proven to be the most effective antifraud law in the United States.

Some actions that would be considered violations of the False Claims Act are as follows:

  • Charging the government for more than was provided
  • Fraudulently seeking a government contract
  • Submitting a false application for a government loan
  • Submitting a fraudulent application for a grant of government funds
  • Attempting to pay the government less than is owed
  • Demanding payment for goods or services that do not conform to contractual or regulatory requirements
  • Requesting payment for goods or services that are defective or of lesser quality than were contracted for
  • Submitting a claim that falsely certifies that the defendant has complied with a law, contract term, or regulation
When the False Claims Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, the term “whistleblower” was not in use.

The term “relator” is the term used in the statute to identify the original source of the frauds against the government. Consequently, in modern whistleblower reward laws, the term “relator” is often used by the Courts and parties to signify a whistleblower.

Any persons or entities with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts may file a qui tam lawsuit.

However, if the government or a private party has already filed a False Claims Act lawsuit based on the same evidence, you cannot bring a lawsuit. Want to learn more about this and how we can help you? Complete our form for a free consultation.