False Claims Act & Qui Tam Claims in Jacksonville
Jacksonville Lawyer for Qui Tam Claims
If you need assistance with a qui tam claim to protect the government from being defrauded, speak with the Jacksonville employment lawyer from the Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A. at once. Qui tam claims are a specific category of whistleblower cases.
Qui tam is an abbreviation of a Latin phrase that means "who sues on behalf of the king as well as himself." A whistleblower can bring suit on behalf of the government and, if successful, may be entitled to a portion of the proceeds from an award upon conclusion of the case. In these cases, the whistleblower essentially steps into the shoes of, and acts as plaintiff for the government.
Understanding Qui Tam Rules
Several federal qui tam laws exist, but the most common is the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act gives whistleblowers a mechanism for bringing claims against government contractors who engage in acts to defraud the federal government. Examples of fraud that may qualify for a claim pursuant to the False Claims Act include government contractors engaging in overcharging the government, billing for services not performed or goods not delivered, selling defective products, misrepresentations in contract applications, and charging for services or goods that are in violation of federal rules, regulations, or laws.
Other qui tam claims include the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which applies to whistleblowers who provide original sources of information in regard to violations of the Securities Exchange Act and the Commodities Exchange Act. The state of Florida also provides for a qui tam statute in the Florida False Claims Act for claims involving acts to defraud the state government.
Most qui tam regulations, including the False Claims Act, also have anti-retaliation provisions. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against an employee by taking adverse employment actions against those who oppose or make efforts to stop violations of qui tam regulations. It is, therefore, unlawful to discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or otherwise discriminate against an employee who blows the whistle on government fraud. Employees are legally protected when they oppose the employer's acts to defraud the government.
The key to having a successful qui tam claim is to act in an early and swift manner. Legal advice can ensure that sufficient evidence is obtained and that necessary measures are taken to notify the appropriate government authorities prior to filing suit.
If you believe your employer may be engaged in acts to defraud a government entity, contact the Jacksonville employment attorney for a confidential consultation.