When an individual or a company commits fraud against the United States government, everyone pays. Individual taxpayers end up picking up the government’s losses through an increase in our taxes.
Individuals who know of fraud being committed against the government can put a stop to it by becoming whistleblowers. Under a whistleblower law known as the False Claims Reform Act, a whistleblower can bring a “qui tam” lawsuit against companies and individuals that are cheating the government. This is a civil fraud lawsuit filed on behalf of the government. If found guilty, defendants in qui tam cases must pay the government for its losses and pay penalties for fraud.
Types of fraud against the government that can be the basis of a qui tam lawsuit include:
- Medicare fraud
- Medicaid fraud
- Defense contractor fraud
- Customs fraud
- Bid-rigging on government projects
- Environmental fraud
- Research fraud
- And others
The person who reports the fraud and brings the suit against the company or individual also gains. Whistleblowers are entitled to a reward of anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the money recovered by the government. Since the 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act, qui tam actions have returned over $4.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury. Of that amount, $629 million has gone to whistleblowers.
Usually, whistleblowers are employees of a company involved in the fraud. The decision to report an employer is not an easy one for fear of losing one’s job. However, the False Claims Act offers job protection for whistleblowers.
If you are aware of a large scale or systematic fraud of the government at your company or hospital you may be entitled to a multi-million dollar award. Under federal law you are entitled to a collect between 15% to 30% of the total amount of the fraud as a reward. Many individuals have collected millions of dollars, indeed more than 3,000 successful claims have been made and the courts have awarded over $3 billion to whistleblowers.
Under Federal law you and your job are protected for reporting any fraud. You can also help hardworking taxpayers from being cheated by corporate greed.
Want to blow the whistle on fraud at your workplace? Contact Consumer Fraud Online to discuss your options.