Qui Tam Overview
Defining The Latin Phrase
The Latin word “qui tam” means “Who as well for the king as for himself sues in the manner”. Simply put, it indicates that a private citizen is initiating legal action on behalf of a state. Befitting since Qui Tam attorneys play a critical role in the fight against government fraud.
Our legal professionals specialize in representing whistleblowers who report fraud committed against the government under the False Claims Act. These False Claims Act cases involve individuals or companies making false claims for government funds, often through kickbacks or other forms of deceitful behavior.
When someone suspects government fraud, they can consult with a Qui Tam attorney to learn about their legal options, and they can provide legal advice on reporting fraud to help whistleblowers navigate the complex legal landscape of whistleblower law. They can also represent their clients in court, working with the U.S. Attorney’s office to build a case and potentially recover funds.
This specific type of attorney will typically have expertise in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, and work with clients across a range of industries. They also work with state government agencies to report fraud and provide support for whistleblowers.
If you are considering reporting fraud against the government, it’s important to understand the role of a Qui Tam attorney and the attorney-client relationship. Before seeking legal representation, be sure to read the disclaimer and understand the legal implications of reporting fraud. Additionally, it’s important to find a qualified Qui Tam attorney with experience in government fraud cases and strong testimonials from past clients.
Overall, Qui Tam attorneys play a crucial role in the fight against government fraud, providing legal advice and representation for whistleblowers and helping to hold individuals and companies accountable for their actions.
Whistleblower Lawyers Prosecuting Qui Tam, SEC, and IRS Whistleblower Cases
Hundreds of Millions Recovered for the Government and Whistleblowers
The attorneys at Berg & Androphy have extensive involvement in prosecuting qui tam litigation cases and international corruption cases. The firm represents whistleblowers nationwide in many large Medicaid/Medicare health care fraud cases and defense contractor cases, as well as other types of cases involving fraud against the government, and international cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The firm, as lead counsel, settled a case with Rotech Healthcare involving Medicare billings for durable medical equipment. The government declined to intervene. The firm recently represented one of the nine whistleblowers in the record-setting Eli Lilly qui tam civil lawsuit, an off-label Medicaid fraud marketing case that netted the government and all whistleblowers about $750 million. The government will also receive an additional $600 million in criminal fines. Also, as featured in national news stories recently featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the cover of the Houston Press, the firm settled a military case that netted the government and whistleblower about $13.2 million. The allegations involved the alteration of expiration dates on food products sent to our US troops in the Middle East.
Joel Androphy at the ABA FCA Mock Trial in Miami, FL
Watch the video from Joel Androphy’s mock trial that took place in Miami, Florida.
Inaugural ABA False Claims Act Virtual Trial Program
Qui Tam Articles
In order to assist whistleblowers and corporate defendants with questions about the False Claims Act, we have written several published articles on qui tam laws.
Representing Clients Nationwide
The firm represents whistleblowers, or the relator, nationwide in many large Medicaid/Medicare health care fraud cases as well as other types of cases involving fraud against the United States government. The False Claims Act or FCA has been integral in recovering monies for the U.S. taxpayer and the United States Federal government from unscrupulous individuals and entities since it was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on March 2nd, 1863. The Department of Justice believes the False Claims Act has been the single most successful anti-fraud act ever signed into law. On behalf of the government, we have filed fraud cases in such major cities as Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Lansing, Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Denver, Beaumont, Tampa, Tulsa, and in other locations. The firm maintains its principal offices in Houston, Texas and New York, New York with offices in Washington, D.C., Denver, Colorado and Miami, Florida.
Although the majority of these recoveries from a Qui Tam lawsuit were in the area of healthcare fraud, significant recoveries were also made in other areas. Most often, qui tam cases involve healthcare (Medicaid, Medicare) and defense contractors, but some also relate to financial services, environmental regulation, oil, gas and mining, and scientific research.
Some common types of whistleblower cases and types of fraud are listed here.
Healthcare Qui Tam Cases-Fraud and abuse accounts for almost ten percent of total government Medicaid and Medicare spending on healthcare, or approximately $120 billion per year. A whistleblower lawsuit may involve overbilling through the deceptive practice of upcoding. The potential harm caused by fraud in the Medicaid/Medicare healthcare industry cannot be overstated.
Defense Contractor Fraud / Military / Government Procurement Qui Tam Cases-Since its enactment, actions against defense contractors have dwindled, and healthcare fraud has become the leading source for qui tam actions. However, fraud in the defense arena is still a concern for the government. In light of recent wars overseas, defense contractors surely will fall under the government’s microscope.
IRS Tax Fraud Cases– In December 2006, Congress passed the Extension of Tax Relief Act of 2006 These amendments authorize the IRS to create a Whistleblower Office to process tips received from individuals who “spot tax problems in their workplace, while conducting day-to-day personal business, or anywhere else they may be encountered.
Environmental Regulation Qui Tam Cases-Environmental regulation is a major challenge for the government. The cases in this area usually involve the liability of government contractors who fail to comply with or report misconduct in connection with environmental regulations.
Prevailing Wage Act Qui Tam Cases-The purpose of prevailing wage laws is to prevent contractors and subcontractors from landing profitable government projects, by bidding lower than their competitors at the expense of their employees.
Education Fraud Qui Tam Cases-False Claims Act (FCA) liability arises in the area of educational fraud where educational institutions violate the Higher Education Act of 1965 (“HEA”)1 or knowingly make false promises to become eligible to receive government funds.
Oil Gas and Mining Qui Tam Cases-The False Claims Act imposes liability on a defendant in connection with underpaying royalty payments to the Government that typically involve amounts owed for use of minerals, oil, and gas on public lands.
Scientific Research Qui Tam Cases-The cases in this area involve the liability of hospitals and universities for false information in obtaining federal funding for research. These cases generally involve the reimbursement of research expenditures by hospitals conducting federally funded medical research, or universities with research grants from the National Institute of Health (“NIH”).
The firm handles all qui tam cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the firm earns a fee only if it is successful for the whistleblower and their whistleblower claims. The firm also represents individuals in white-collar civil and criminal cases. Many whistleblowers, with inside information on illegal activities, may have civil and potentially criminal exposure and decisions will need to be made about the risks of pursuing a qui tam case, weighted against whistleblower protection that is afforded through the Federal False Claims act amendments. The private citizen or relator may seek back pay and reinstatement if any egregious action is taken against them by the defendant for the FCA claim, through civil penalties.
The Qui Tam Lawyers at Berg & Androphy have expertise in both qui tam and white collar matters. Joel M. Androphy is the author of books on both the False Claims Act/qui tam laws and white collar crime. Most qui tam law firms do not have this dual expertise.
- Historical Overview of the FCA
- Overview of the FCA and Its Qui Tam Provisions
- Meaning of “Claim” in the False Claims Act
- Substantive Violations
- Procedures for Filing a Qui Tam Suit by a Whistleblower
- Pitfalls of Filing a Qui Tam Suit
- False Claims Act Damages and Penalties
- Statute of Limitations for Qui Tam Suit
- Qui Tam Whistleblower Recovery and Attorney Fees
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT, TAX FRAUD OR THE FINANCIAL FRAUD PROGRAMS AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE A CASE?
The Qui Tam Attorneys at Berg & Androphy will be happy to evaluate your potential case. The information you provide will be privileged and confidential. We do not, however, become your whistleblower attorneys simply because you have emailed us or contacted us by phone. With your permission, we will investigate your case to determine whether we are interested in proceeding. If we are interested, we will send you a written agreement. Until a written fee agreement is agreed to and signed, we do not represent you.