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'Qui Tam' Whistleblowers: Important Facts You Should Know

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If you're a California citizen who has first-hand knowledge of fraud or corruption that involves business with the state or federal government, federal and state laws protect your rights if you choose to file a qui tam claim on behalf of the government. What you might not know is that if you engage in qui tam whistleblower activities, you may also be entitled to a substantial financial reward.

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If you're a California citizen who has first-hand knowledge of fraud or corruption that involves business with the state or federal government, federal and state laws protect your rights if you choose to file a qui tam claim on behalf of the government. What you might not know is that if you engage in qui tam whistleblower activities, you may also be entitled to a substantial financial reward.

The following information will help you better understand your rights and rewards as a qui tam whistleblower, plus give you insight on when to contact a qui tam whistleblower attorney.

What Are the Rewards of Qui Tam Whistleblowing?

Under special provisions of the False Claims Act, you may be entitled to a substantial sum of recovered funds in a qui tam lawsuit - typically between 15% and 30%. Sharing a portion of the collected proceeds with a whistleblower is considered a fundamental principle of filing a qui tam claim. The U.S. government makes it worthwhile for citizens going through the process of filing a claim because reporting these types of fraudulent activities is considered a public service.

What Are Your Qui Tam Whistleblower Rights?

As a qui tam whistleblower, the law allows you to file a claim "under seal" - or in secret. Because whistleblowing can be a life-altering experience at times, you are not required to file publicly. State and federal law allow you to be anonymous for a time so that you can avoid possible employer retaliation. Only you, your attorneys, and the government will know that you filed the qui tam claim until the accusations are eventually made public. Protecting your rights as a qui tam whistleblower in this way also buys you more time so you can seek alternate employment, and build a new life, if needed.

Examples of Qui Tam Cases

Northrop Grumman Agrees to Pay $12.5 Million to Settle Civil False Claims Act Case Alleging Test Violations
"A whistleblower lawsuit alleged that Northrop's Navigation Systems Division based in Woodland Hills, California failed to test certain commercial-grade electronic components that it had purchased for use in the manufacture of navigation systems. The tests were supposed to ensure that the components would function at the extreme temperatures required for military and space uses. The agencies affected by Northrop's alleged misconduct include the Navy, the Army, the Air Force, the Defense Logistics Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Coast Guard and the Forest Service." Read more.

Atlanta Dentist to Pay Settlement to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations
"The civil settlement resolves allegations that Jaffe, a 71-year-old dentist from Atlanta, Georgia, fraudulently sought payment from Medicaid for higher and more expensive levels of service than were actually performed, a practice commonly referred to as 'upcoding.' The settlement also resolves claims that Jaffe unlawfully billed for services rendered by an unsupervised dental assistant on days in which Jaffe was not present in the office. Under Medicaid regulations and Georgia law, it is unlawful for dental assistants to render any care outside of the direct supervision of a licensed dentist." Read more.

Filing a Qui Tam Claim in California

If you think you have inside information regarding a possible qui tam claim, it's crucial to hire an experienced whistleblower attorney as soon as possible. Qui tam claims have very strict time limitations and a qui tam attorney will know when and how to file yours appropriately.

The qui tam lawyers at Hennig Ruiz have worked with many clients who have witnessed various forms of fraud, abuse, neglect, and misconduct involving both government agencies and companies. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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