Qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur – He who brings a case on behalf of our lord the King, as well as for himself.
This ancient citation encapsulates the principle behind qui tam prosecutions (often referred to as whistleblower claims): By stepping forward with information concerning government fraud, an individual brings a legal action for himself as well as the Government. The Government has encouraged individuals to cooperate in prosecutions by offering financial awards since the 1860s; qui tam prosecutions have increased significantly since the amendments made to the False Claims Act in 1986, which increased incentives for those willing to blow the whistle on an employer or other entity engaging in fraudulent practices.
We recognize that those who have evidence of government fraud need information about the financial incentives for whistleblowers. They also need to understand the protections offered to them when they make their employer or other government contractor the target of federal prosecution. Our attorneys are among the pre-eminent qui tam attorneys in the United States and provide seasoned guidance to would-be whistleblowers so they can make an informed decision about their options.
The Rewards: What Relators May Be Entitled To Receive
Ultimately, the amount that a "relator" (the individual who "relates" information on fraud to the Government) can receive depends on several factors, including:
- The extent to which the relator's information leads to a successful prosecution
- The involvement of the relator and his or her counsel during a qui tam prosecution
- Whether the Government intervenes and joins in a qui tam case or the relator pursues the action without the Government
In a successful case, the Government pays a relator an award of between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery. In cases of widespread fraud, this can result in multimillion-dollar recoveries for relators, and our firm has helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars in qui tam cases over more than two decades.
The Protections: Sealed, Confidential Investigations
An important aspect of qui tam prosecutions is that cases are filed and investigated under seal. This means that while the Government is investigating the case, a relator is allowed to speak about it only with his or her counsel and federal prosecutors. Equally important, the defendant is not aware of the case until it comes out from under seal, meaning that the identity of a relator is typically kept confidential from both the defendant and the public at large for a period of potentially several years.
Discuss Your Case In A Confidential Consultation
Learn if your information may lead to a successful qui tam prosecution, and if so, what specific rewards and protections are available in your case. Email our firm or call toll free 800-844-4406 to arrange a consultation with one of our attorneys.