Seattle, Washington Qui Tam Lawyers – Exposing Fraud Against the Federal Government Under the False Claims Act
If you are aware of a person or company that has defrauded the federal government, you may be eligible for significant compensation under what are known as the Qui Tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
We are experienced in representing clients in Qui Tam actions, and have obtained significant recoveries for our clients in these cases and associated wrongful termination and illegal retaliation matters. Our law firm is available to represent clients throughout the United States.
What is a Qui Tam Action, and What Compensation Might be Available for Those Exposing Fraud Against the Federal Government?
Qui tam laws allow people to file lawsuits against individuals or corporations who have defrauded the U.S. government. Qui Tam is an abbreviated Latin phrase (“qui tam pro domino rege quam pro sic ipso in hoc parte sequitur”) for “he who sues on behalf of the king and for himself.” The laws regarding these actions are often referred to as the “False Claims Act” as often the claims involve false filings with the federal government for compensation, such as for work that was never performed or based upon fraud.
Qui Tam cases are similar to whistle blowing cases, in which employees report employers for committing or attempting to commit illegal activities in the workplace. Qui Tam cases are filed secretly, and are often investigated by the FBI before the defendant corporation even learns that it is being sued.
Qui Tam laws provide that the relator (the person reporting the fraud) will be compensated with a monetary reward. Since enactment of these provisions relators have received over one billion dollars as a result of qui tam laws, and billions of dollars have been recovered from corporations and individuals who were defrauding the government.
What Are Some Types of Government Fraud?
Common types of fraud against the federal government:
- Medicare overbilling
- Medicare fraud
- Federal grant fraud
- Clinical lab fraud
- Government procurement fraud
- Military contract fraud
- Education grant fraud
- Construction fraud
- Home Health Care fraud
- Government supplier fraud
- Government program fraud
- Contractor services fraud
- Fraudulent documentation
- Ambulance billing fraud
- False product inspections
- Work contract fraud
- Billing fraud
- Filing fraudulent paperwork
- Stating work was performed when it was not
- Intentionally misstating amounts owed to the government (reverse false claims)
- Any other fraud or misrepresentation which steals U.S. taxpayer money
Filed qui tam actions generally revolve around false claims that are either directly or indirectly presented to the Government for “payment or approval.” These false claims can be generated through the submission of false records, statements, or other representations made to the Government.
Although the law covers a wide variety of fraudulent conduct under its definition of a false claim, fraud against the Government based on false tax returns are not covered (however, there is a reward program with the IRS. If your claim involves false tax returns, let us know).
Cases Filed as Qui Tam Actions
There are several general types of cases filed as qui tam actions.
Mischarging cases are the most commonly filed. Mischarging cases generally involve filing false claims for goods or services that were not provided or performed. Common mischarging cases involve companies charging the government for employee labor that was not performed, medical services that were not rendered, and services performed by an attending physician when the service was actually performed by a nurse or other provider that should have been billed at a lower rate.
False Negotiation and Defective Pricing
False negotiation and defective pricing claims involve the submission of false cost and pricing data to the government. This scheme, which takes on many forms, involves the submission of false costs or pricing data to the government during the negotiation of a contract that subsequently results in an inflated contract Price.
Product and Service Substitution and False Certification of Entitlement for Benefits
Examples of product and service substitution are falsely certifying that a product meets specifications and false testing schemes (such as falsely certifying that reliability testing was conducted and providing an inferior service or product). Examples of false certification of entitlement cases are falsely certifying information for FHA mortgage guarantees and price supports, or falsely claiming products meet military aviation or similar standards.
These are only a few examples of actions for which a Qui Tam claims may be brought; many other types actions and conduct can also be the subject of a Qui Tam claim.
Contact Us Today at (206) 324-8969
If you know of or suspect illegal or fraudulent activities against the United States government, you have the right to file a qui tam lawsuit against the responsible party, which we can initiate on your behalf. Qui tam is a complex area of law; as experienced Seattle qui tam lawyers, we have successfully litigated claims against those responsible for defrauding the government and have obtained significant compensation for our clients who have initiated these matters.
We typically handle Qui Tam and False Claims Act cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning, “no recovery, no fee.”