At its essence, the False Claims Act is a federal law that sanctions businesses and individuals for defrauding the federal government in some manner. Oftentimes, the target of a False Claim Act case is a contractor. Prosecutions are in federal courts across the country, including the Show Me State. There are some factors to bear in mind when it comes to Missouri False Claims Act violations.
Common Types of False Claims
False claims filed against the federal government come in a number of different forms. Presenting a false claim for payment is the most common type of false claim. These include false billings submitted to the Medicare program as well as a full spectrum of false billing statement submitted by federal contractors of all types, including military defense contractors.
Qui Tam Actions and the False Claims Act
As of 2010, approximately three-quarters of all False Claim Act lawsuits were initiated by whistleblowers. There is a provision within the False Claims Act that permits what legally are known as qui tam actions.
A qui tam lawsuit is one brought by a private citizen to initiate governmental intervention and action against an individual or business alleged to have engaged in fraudulent practices. For example, an employee of a defense contractor with information about fraudulent practices, may initiate a qui tam action. Similarly, a staff member with a medical clinic may initiate such an action in regard to fraudulent billing practices with Medicare.
A whistleblower who initiates a qui tam claim is compensated if the litigation against a wrongdoer proves successful. Typically, compensation to a whistleblower is in the amount of about 17 to 25 percent of any money recovered through the case.
Retaining Legal Representation
Unfounded allegations of violations of the False Claims Act do occur, particularly when it comes to qui tam actions. Competitors and disgruntled former employees are primer examples of entities and individuals that make false claims. A person or business facing an allegation of a false claim violation needs to be proactive in seeking legal representation.