The Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,” translates to “he who brings a case for the king as well as for himself.” It refers to a legal provision under the False Claims Act that allows private individuals, known as relators or whistleblowers, to file lawsuits on behalf of the government against individuals or entities involved in fraud against government programs or contracts.
Qui tam cases often involve matters such as healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud or financial fraud against the government.
How does qui tam work?
In a qui tam lawsuit, the relator initiates legal action by filing a complaint under seal in federal court. The complaint must provide specific details about the alleged fraud, including evidence and documentation supporting the claim. The complaint is then served on the government, allowing them an opportunity to investigate the allegations. If the government decides to intervene, it assumes primary responsibility for prosecuting the case. However, if the government declines to intervene, the relator may choose to continue the lawsuit independently, known as a qui tam action under seal.
What are the potential outcomes and rewards?
Successful qui tam cases can result in various outcomes and rewards for whistleblowers. If the lawsuit leads to a settlement or a judgment in favor of the government, the relator may be eligible to receive a percentage of the recovered funds. The reward, known as a relator’s share, can range from 15% to 30% of the total amount recovered, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Additionally, qui tam laws include provisions to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, ensuring their rights and encouraging the reporting of fraudulent activities.
Qui tam law provides an essential way for individuals to combat fraud against the government. Understanding the basics of qui tam law is vital for people who want to take action against fraudulent activities. Learning more about qui tam law can provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, ensuring compliance with the legal process and maximizing the chances of a successful outcome.