What Is A Qui Tam Lawsuit?
If you or your company face a qui tam lawsuit, it means one of your employees or contractors has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the government to stop some kind of wrongdoing. Most often, this is a violation of the False Claims Act, but not necessarily. These are civil suits, but they can end up being costly to you and have potentially criminal consequences.
At The Law Office of Mark P. Rankin, P.A., attorney Mark Rankin has the experience to provide you with advice and representation regarding the civil False Claims Act matter and any related federal criminal matter. He’s built a reputation across West Central Florida for thorough, meticulous defense in a variety of federal and Florida criminal charges. He wants to answer your questions so you can make smart decisions about your next steps.
Clearing Up Your Questions About Qui Tam
The term “qui tam” is Latin and has been used for centuries in relation to cases on behalf of the government. The concept originally found in English common law was codified by the False Claims Act just after the civil war. Just because it is an old concept does not mean it is well understood. Many people have important questions such as:
What makes qui tam different from a regular lawsuit?
Aside from some of the factors we mentioned earlier, such as it being a civil lawsuit on behalf of the government. The claimants in the lawsuit have certain legal protections as your employees. Additionally, if a lawsuit reaches the level of a qui tam lawsuit, the federal government is obligated to begin investigating it. Should the qui tam plaintiff recover funds for the government, they may recover up to three times the damages to the government – called “treble damages”.
What types of fraud might lead to a qui tam lawsuit?
The original type of fraud that the False Claims Act was created to stop was filing false claims of losses in the civil war. Since then, people have used the act and qui tam lawsuits in issues dealing with:
- Medicare fraud
- Tax fraud
- Environmental regulation violations
- Procurement fraud
Any instance in which a company’s or individual’s actions may violate the law could be a qui tam lawsuit.
How long does the federal seal stay in place?
As part of the law, every qui tam case is filed under a seal that lasts 60 days, meaning all information in the case may not go public, and the parties may not talk about it. The seal can be extended if the government finds sufficient reason to extend it, such as they are continuing their investigation.
Get Answers. Get Help. Get The Law Office of Mark P. Rankin, P.A..
As your lawyer, Mark Rankin will answer your questions and provide a full, thorough defense of you in qui tam-related litigation. Reach out today to get started by calling 877-620-0898 or sending an email.