The federal government takes fraud seriously, especially when an individual, company or other business entity defrauds the government. Whenever the government loses money because of fraud, this hurts not only the government, but also the country as a whole. Taxpayers' dollars and other government funding can be lost when this happens.

The False Claims Act

The False Claims Act aims to prevent these types of fraudulent actions. This act makes defrauding the federal government illegal and provides for "treble" damages, which means damages can be tripled. Furthermore, the False Claims Act allows private citizens, known as "whistleblowers," to act on behalf of the federal government and sue another party for such fraudulent actions. These are known as whistleblower claims.

The part of the False Claims Act that allows for whistleblower claims is under the qui tam provision (31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733). Private citizens who make claims are called "relators." They may have witnessed their employer commit fraud. They may have seen multiple acts of fraud at work. By making whistleblower claims, relators not only help the government fight fraud, but they also may be rewarded financially for doing so. In some cases, the whistleblower could receive 15 to 30 percent of the damages recovered in the lawsuit.

Sometimes employees who file whistleblower claims are fired or subjected to other retaliation by accused employers. This is illegal and there are laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

Getting Experienced Legal Counsel

Other bodies of law that provide for whistleblower claims include the Stark Law (improper patient referrals/kickbacks in the health care industry), the Dodd-Frank Act (SEC Whistleblower Act) as well as various state laws. As you can see, there are many types of fraud and whistleblower claims and various bodies of law. That is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney at your side, to help you file and proceed with your whistleblower claim. In some situations, you may be able to receive attorney's fees in addition to damages.

Talk To Our Seasoned Whistleblower Lawyer

We invite you to reach out to Pace Law Offices if you are interested in a whistleblower claim. Our attorneys are located in Anchorage, Alaska. To schedule your initial consultation, reach out to us online or call 907-222-4003 today.