When an employee has witnessed fraud conspired against the government by their employer, there are two options available to report such illegal activity. One option is to call the government fraud hotline. There are a number of agencies that operate hotlines for whistleblowers to report Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud and other types of fraud against the government. Another option is to call an experienced qui tam lawyer who is an expert at helping clients with whistleblower lawsuits that target fraud against the government. Both are viable and legitimate ways to hold a company liable for their illegal actions against the government. However, choosing to call a lawyer is the most beneficial for a “relator” or whistleblower as it is the best way to ensure justifiable compensation to said complainant.
Reporting to the Government
Anyone who believes their company is committing fraud against the government has access to a number of operate hotlines via web search or google. These hotlines may be specific to the type of fraud being reported, such as reporting Medicare fraud or Medicaid fraud. There are other agencies such as the OIG Hotline (Office of the Inspector General) where the agency will take reports on a number of different government agencies who were the target of fraud. Moreover, many government agencies have fraud hotlines that will put a relator directly in contact with the agency their employer “allegedly” violated.
By doing this, whistleblowers are told by these agencies that they may earn compensation for their role in exposing fraud against the government. Yet, while this is true, these hotlines who are associated with the agencies claim that the relator can only earn up to $1000 if their claims are met with sufficient merit. However, this is a limited to the amount that may be earned when hiring an attorney . Moreover, retaliation against the employer from the company is not completely protected by the hotline claim. Although protected by federal law, retaliation still slips through the cracks, requiring an attorney to file a False Claims Act lawsuit. This further complicates the situation and a lawyer may not be able to help those who first reported through a hotline. Therefore, it’s not only monetarily beneficial to go through an attorney for a whistleblower lawsuit, but also physically and emotionally beneficial to seek the help of an experienced professional who can protect your rights in such a case.
Hiring a Whistleblower Attorney
Qui tam lawsuits are a type of legal action where individuals with insider information regarding fraud against the government bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government. These types of claims were created by the False Claims Act which is a federal law that was enacted in response to rampant fraud in government contracts throughout history. These individuals with information, who then file a qui tam claims generally have some insider information regarding the fraud and are referred to as whistleblowers. As such, when coming forward through a False Claims Act, hiring an established attorney in the field will allow the relators to share in any recovery which is awarded. Also, the False Claims Act prevents employers from retaliating against employees who file the complaint.
Employees are protected by having their allegations filed “under seal,” meaning that the existence of the action is kept secret from the person or party who is the subject of the lawsuit. In a quality lawsuit, most specialized attorneys will take on the cases through a contingency basis where they will only take payment if the plaintiff gets an award . Further, if the claim is successful, whistleblowers may earn between 15 and 30 percent of the total amount recovered by the government in a False Claims Act lawsuit. To put that in perspective, many False Claims Act lawsuits involve totals in question of more than a million dollars. As such, whistleblowers filing a lawsuit where $1,000,000 is in question, $150,000 would be the payout for the whistleblower bringing the claim—certainly more than $1000 .
Dolman Law Group
Dolman Law Group is experienced in qui tam litigation and whistleblower lawsuits. If you or someone you know is thinking about coming forward with information about false claims, it is essential to go through a whistleblower attorney, rather than directly contact the agency. It’s better to know if your rights and the amount you are owed for your contribution, rather than risking retaliation or a sum that is not justifiable. Please contact our expert attorneys. We understand the nuances of qui tam cases and are dedicated to helping our clients do the right thing in case of fraud. Our number to call is (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765