The initial False Claims Act, or Lincoln Law, was enacted by President Lincoln during the Civil War to prevent fraudulent claims being made by contractors of the government hired to supply the Union Army. Today, we continue to rely upon the False Claims Act which has become one of the most important tools the U.S. taxpayers have to recover the billions of dollars annually overcharged as a result of fraud by U.S. contractors.
The False Claims Act contains qui tam, or whistleblower provisions to protect American taxpayers. “Qui Tam” is actually a reference to a Latin phrase that, in pertinent part, means “he who brings a case on behalf of our lord the King, as well as for himself”. The term “whistleblower” is defined as a private citizen that brings to light information that he, or she, reasonably believes evidences:
Under the False Claims Act, anyone who knowingly submits, or causes another individual or entity to submit, false claims for payment of government funds is liable for three times the government’s damages plus civil penalties of $5,500 – 11,000.00 per false claim. (This excludes tax fraud, which falls under IRS jurisdiction.) As a way of compensating the whistleblower for taking the risk and making the effort involved in filing a qui tam lawsuit, the whistleblower is awarded a portion of the funds recovered by the government, which is typically 15 – 25 percent or, if the government chooses not to intervene as a plaintiff in the pending action and the whistleblower continues to pursue the lawsuit, the amount awarded to the whistleblower may increase to 25 – 30 percent.
The False Claims Act is not just about monies being recovered by the government or being awarded to the whistleblower. Just as importantly, it is about preventing and discouraging fraud and changing the culture of corporate America and government contracting.
These are a few types of fraud which may be considered whistleblower opportunities under the False Claims Act:
A whistleblower lawsuit is initially filed in camera, or “under seal” for a period of sixty days, during which time the Defendant is not notified of the pending lawsuit, allowing the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation of the matter.
We are experienced Georgia whistleblower attorneys and we take great pride in our many successes representing whistleblowers in Georgia. As whistleblower attorneys, we will assist you throughout the reporting and filing process and work directly with the Department of Justice on your behalf. Further, as your Georgia whistleblower lawyers, we will file the appropriate lawsuits confidentially and protect you throughout the investigation and any extensions thereof. Finally, with the experience that has come from our successes in fraud actions filed under the False Claims Act, we will fight for the largest possible award for which you are entitled.
Contact Atlanta Attorney J. Stephen Mixon of Millar and Mixon, LLC if you want to discuss your whistleblower case at 770-955-0100.