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What Should I Do If I Know that Someone is Defrauding the Government?

In short, if you know of someone, or you believe that you know of someone actively defrauding, or who has defrauded the federal government, you should contact an attorney immediately. These actions are extremely important, as they ensure that individuals and corporations defrauding the government are not allowed to continue stealing taxpayer money. In addition to being required by law,[1] selecting an attorney, like the experienced litigators of the Dolman Law Group, in your Qui Tam action is vital to ensure that you are shielded from potential reprisals by the individual or company which you are bringing allegations against.

Qui Tam actions are a common law writ short for qui tam pro domino rege quam prose ipso in hac parte sequitor, meaning literally, “he who sues in this matter for the king as well as himself.” These actions originated in 11th century English law and were designed to report violations of the Christian observance of the Sabbath. In the evolution of the modern, secular world, these actions became less relevant at common law, and it wasn’t until the Civil War that Qui Tam actions became relevant in American jurisprudence.

In the Civil War, vast numbers of Union War contracts were issued in order to support the massive war effort. Unfortunately, these contracts were often abused by opportunistic contractors. This fraud became so rampant that in 1863, Congress passed the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733, or the Lincoln Law. The law at the time empowered any individual with original knowledge [2] of anyone defrauding the government to report those people or companies to the government.

In 1986, under the Reagan administration, the FCA was strengthened in response to increased fraud resulting from the massive military build-up of the 1980s to include increased incentives to individuals reporting these allegations. As the law exists today, the government provides individuals making these Qui Tam actions with a percentage of any monies recovered in the Government’s investigation of these allegations of fraud.

While Qui Tam as it exists in the U.S. was originally passed to help reduce fraudulent completion of military contracts, its modern form allows individuals to bring allegations of any type of fraud against the government. Indeed, there are even state equivalents, like Fla. Stat. 68.081, the Florida False Claims Act, which allow Qui Tam actions to be brought for allegations of defrauding the state.

In State cases, as in Federal Qui Tam cases, individuals reporting fraud must have original knowledge of the fraud. This means that the reporter must have first-hand knowledge of the fraud and that this fraud is not public knowledge. This arrangement ensures that the government is not being informed of a Qui Tam action when one has already been commenced and that the claim is not hearsay. Due to the complicated evidentiary requirements of Qui Tam actions, and the fact that all filings in these cases are sealed, it can be prohibitively difficult to pursue these claims, which is why hiring an attorney is so vital.

The process of choosing an attorney for a Qui Tam action can be arduous and confusing; there are nearly infinite options to choose from, and little to no way of actually deciding who to pick. That is why it is so important to choose a local firm that can provide personal, hands-on guidance and protection in your qui tam action.

Contact Dolman Law Group

The Dolman Law Group will provide you the legal guidance that you need when proceeding with these actions. Oftentimes, whistleblowers bringing qui tam actions fear retribution from the massive corporations they accuse of defrauding the government. With the enormous amounts of money at stake in these actions, people often overreact and behave irrationally, or even dangerously. These people and corporations sometimes make reprisals, which have been known to range from job loss, to social exclusion, and have even become violent. In order to protect yourself when doing what’s right and reporting fraud against the government, it is vitally important that you have aggressive and zealous local attorneys that know the area, and more importantly, know you. Attorneys like the experienced litigators at the Dolman Law Group, will zealously advocate for you and will work to ensure that you are not harmed in any way for doing your duty to your country or state, by reporting people defrauding the taxpayers.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/qui-tam-litigation/

  1. See United States ex Rel. Lu v Ou, 368 F.3d 773 (U.S. 7th Cir. Ct. App. 2004)
  2. Rockwell International Corp. v. United States ex Rel., 549 U.S. 457 (2007).