Qui Tam Attorney for Whistleblowers

Talk to a Qui Tam Lawyer About Filing a Complaint Under the False Claims Act

Lynette Byrd
Attorney Lynette Byrd
Qui Tam Whistleblower Team Lead
Former DOJ Attorneyenvelope iconContact Lynette
Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
Qui Tam Whistleblower Team Leadenvelope iconContact Nick
Tim Allen
Tim Allen
Qui Tam Whistleblower Team
Former Secret Service (Digital Forensics Expert)
Brian Kuester
Attorney Brian Kuester
Qui Tam Whistleblower Team
Former U.S. Attorney and District Attorneyenvelope iconContact Brian

The False Claims Act is one of the federal government’s most important tools for fighting fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) in the federal contracting, grant, and health care sectors. Under the False Claims Act, not only can federal agencies initiate enforcement actions, but qui tam whistleblowers can initiate enforcement actions as well.

In fact, qui tam whistleblowers play an essential role in the government’s fight against fraud, waste, and abuse. Oftentimes, employees and other private citizens have access to information that the federal government simply has no way of uncovering on its own. As a result, the government relies on these individuals to come forward. Those who come forward are entitled to protection against all forms of retaliation in their employment. In some cases they are entitled to financial awards as well.

Do You Need to Report Fraud, Waste, or Abuse to the Federal Government?

The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA) allow—and encourage—individuals to come forward with information about all forms of fraud, waste, and abuse. This includes FWA under federal government contracts, federal grants, and federal health care benefit programs (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare). At Oberheiden P.C., our qui tam attorneys for whistleblowers represent individuals who need to report all forms of fraud, waste, and abuse; and, in doing so, we rely on extensive experience not only representing whistleblowers, but also within the federal government.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

About Our Qui Tam Whistleblower Practice

Several of the whistleblower lawyers at our law firm worked in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) before entering private practice as whistleblower attorneys. In this capacity, they were directly responsible for overseeing investigations and prosecutions focused on FWA in the federal contracting, grant, and health care sectors. As a result, not only are we intimately familiar with the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions for a qui tam lawsuit, but we are also intimately familiar with the DOJ’s enforcement priorities and its procedures for targeting fraud, waste, and abuse.

Here is what you can expect when you choose to work with one of our qui tam whistleblower attorneys at Oberheiden P.C.:

  • Complete Confidence – We will keep your identity and all information you share strictly confidential. We will not contact the government with your information unless you expressly authorize us to do so.
  • Personal Legal Advice – Your qui tam attorney will provide legal advice that is custom-tailored to your individual circumstances. Based on this advice, you will be able to make informed decisions about your next steps with your qui tam action.
  • Comprehensive Assistance – If you decide to move forward with filing a qui tam whistleblower complaint, your lawyer will assist you throughout the process. Your lawyer will communicate with the federal government on your behalf while keeping you informed every step of the way.
  • No Pressure to Come Forward – When you contact us, you are under no obligation to come forward. While you are deciding whether to blow the whistle, our job is to advise you, not pressure you.
  • No Out-of-Pocket Costs – Regardless of what you choose to do, we will represent you at no out-of-pocket cost. All of our advice is completely free; and, if you decide to file a qui tam whistleblower complaint, our legal fees (if any) will be paid out of any amount the federal government recovers.

Common Qui Tam Allegations Under the False Claims Act

When should you think about filing a qui tam complaint under the False Claims Act? False and fraudulent claims under the False Claims Act can take many different forms, and the federal government is interested in uncovering all forms of fraud, waste, and abuse that result in taxpayer losses. Some common examples of qui tam allegations under the False Claims Act include:

  • Bank fraud involving federally-insured institutions
  • Customs fraud (including counterfeiting, import fraud, and export fraud)
  • Education and financial aid fraud
  • Government contract and procurement fraud (including defense contractor fraud)
  • Government program fraud (including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Employee Retention Credit (ERC) fraud)
  • Healthcare fraud (including Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare fraud)
  • Mortgage fraud and insurance fraud
  • Kickbacks and other forms of unlawful remuneration
  • Pharmaceutical fraud
  • Public corruption and bribery (including bribery of domestic and foreign government officials)

Again, these are just some of the most common examples. Even if you aren’t sure whether a contractor, grant recipient, or program participant’s conduct specifically violates the False Claims Act, we encourage you to speak with a qui tam attorney at Oberheiden P.C. Our lawyers can determine if the information that you have reflects a violation of the False Claims Act—and, if it does, we can help you decide what to do next.

What You Should Know As a Potential Qui Tam Whistleblower

Blowing the whistle on fraud, waste, or abuse is one of the most important ways that private citizens can help the federal government expose fraud. If you believe that you may have information about a False Claims Act violation, here are three important facts you should know about whistleblower claims:

1. Qui Tam Whistleblowers Are Entitled to Protection (and, In Some Cases, Financial Compensation)

When you qualify as a whistleblower under the False Claims Act, you are entitled to protection from retaliation. Your lawyers and the federal government will keep your identity confidential; and, if your employer discerns your identity, it will be prohibited from retaliating against you. If your qui tam complaint leads to a successful enforcement action, you may also be entitled to financial compensation from the government.

2. It Is Important to Make Informed Decisions As Quickly As Possible

As a potential qui tam whistleblower, it is essential to make informed decisions. But, it is also important to make these decisions as quickly as possible. Not only will coming forward promptly help mitigate taxpayers’ losses, but it will also help ensure that you receive the protections that are available under the False Claims Act.

3. Blowing the Whistle is the Right Thing to Do

While many people question whether they should report their employers (or other companies) to the federal government, you should always remember that blowing the whistle is the right thing to do. False and fraudulent claims cost taxpayers billions of dollars per year, and holding companies accountable through qui tam lawsuits is one of the most effective ways to prevent additional losses in the future.

FAQs: Filing a Qui Tam Whistleblower Complaint Under the False Claims Act

What information do I need to qualify as a qui tam whistleblower?

Qui tam whistleblowers report violations of the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act imposes penaltiesfor any individual or entity that “knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval.” This is extremely broad—and this means that qui tam whistleblowers can report an extremely wide range of violations. As a result, if you believe that you may have information about any form of fraud resulting in taxpayer losses, you should speak with a qui tam whistleblower lawyer about your next steps.

Can I be fired as a qui tam whistleblower?

As a qui tam whistleblower, you will be protected against termination of your employment (and any other adverse employment actions) based on your decision to blow the whistle. You may still be terminated for other reasons—just as you could previously. If your employer fires you illegally, your qui tam whistleblower lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. will be able to help you seek appropriate remedies for retaliation under the False Claims Act. Keep in mind, however, that employers will not learn qui tam whistleblowers’ identities in most cases.

How long do I have to come forward as a qui tamwhistleblower?

Under the False Claims Act, the federal government may have up to 10 years to initiate an enforcement proceeding. As a qui tam whistleblower, you need to file your complaint in time for the government to take action. However, you will want to file your complaint as soon as possible—as this will not only help to mitigate the government’s (and taxpayers’) losses but also help to ensure that you receive protection as a whistleblower.

How common is it to file a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit?

The federal government receives hundreds of qui tam complaints every year. But, even this only reflects a tiny portion of the fraud committed under federal contracts, grants, and programs. Qui tam whistleblowers play an important role; and, if you are thinking about coming forward, you should speak with a qui tam whistleblower lawyer promptly.

How can a qui tam whistleblower lawyer help me?

From helping you decide whether to come forward to protecting your identity and working with the federal government on your behalf, there are many ways an experienced qui tam whistleblower lawyer can help you. It costs nothing to work with an experienced lawyer; and, if you are thinking about blowing the whistle, we strongly encourage you to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

What is qui tam under the False Claims Act?

The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow private citizens to file complaints on behalf of the federal government. The False Claims Act prohibits companies from engaging in fraud, waste, and abuse under federal contracts and programs; and, while the government audits for compliance, it still relies heavily on private employees, former employees, and individuals to come forward when they have information about violations of the law.

As the Legal Information Institute explains, “[q]ui tam is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase ‘qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,’ meaning ‘Who sues on behalf of the King as well as for himself.’” So, when you file a qui tam complaint, you are suing on behalf of the government, but also to protect yourself and your fellow taxpayers. The False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions play a key role in the government’s ongoing fight against fraud, waste, and abuse, and individuals play a key role in helping the government discover when legal action is necessary.

What is the difference between a qui tam relator and a whistleblower?

A whistleblower who files under the False Claims Act is referred to as a qui tam relator. As a result, if you report fraud, waste, or abuse to the federal government in compliance with the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions, you will be a federal whistleblower. But, while there are other federal whistleblower statutes as well, the term “qui tam relator” is specific to the False Claims Act.

What are qui tam whistleblowers’ rights?

Qui tam whistleblowers (or relators) have clear legal rights under the False Claims Act. Three of the most important rights afforded to qui tam whistleblowers are: (i) the right to file under seal (which means the government will protect your identity, at least during the preliminary stages of your qui tam case); (ii) the right to be free from retaliation based on your decision to blow the whistle; and, (iii) the right to whistleblower compensation of your complaint results in a financial recovery for the federal government. Our lawyers can explain each of these rights (and your other rights as a qui tam whistleblower) in detail, and we encourage you to contact us promptly to learn more.

Can I file a qui tam complaint anonymously?

When you hire a lawyer to file a qui tam complaint under the False Claims Act, your complaint will be filed “under seal.” This means that your identity will only be available to your lawyer and the federal government personnel handling the case. While this initial protection only lasts for 60 days, it can often be renewed—often for several years. Thus, although it is not possible to file a qui tam complaint anonymously, your identity will be protected, and the protection against retaliation ensures that even if your name becomes public record, your employer still cannot take adverse action against you.

Some other federal whistleblower programs allow for complete anonymity. If the information that you have in your possession makes you eligible to file under one of these other programs as well, our lawyers can help you decide how best to approach your whistleblower complaint.

What is qui tam under the False Claims Act?

The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow private citizens to file complaints on behalf of the federal government. The False Claims Act prohibits companies from engaging in fraud, waste, and abuse under federal contracts and programs; and, while the government audits for compliance, it still relies heavily on private employees, former employees, and individuals to come forward when they have information about violations of the law.

As the Legal Information Institute explains, “[q]ui tam is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase ‘qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,’ meaning ‘Who sues on behalf of the King as well as for himself.’” So, when you file a qui tam complaint, you are suing on behalf of the government, but also to protect yourself and your fellow taxpayers. The False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions play a key role in the government’s ongoing fight against fraud, waste, and abuse, and individuals play a key role in helping the government discover when legal action is necessary.

What is the difference between a qui tam relator and a whistleblower?

A whistleblower who files under the False Claims Act is referred to as a qui tam relator. As a result, if you report fraud, waste, or abuse to the federal government in compliance with the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions, you will be a federal whistleblower. But, while there are other federal whistleblower statutes as well, the term “qui tam relator” is specific to the False Claims Act.

What are qui tam whistleblowers’ rights?

Qui tam whistleblowers (or relators) have clear legal rights under the False Claims Act. Three of the most important rights afforded to qui tam whistleblowers are: (i) the right to file under seal (which means the government will protect your identity, at least during the preliminary stages of your qui tam case); (ii) the right to be free from retaliation based on your decision to blow the whistle; and, (iii) the right to whistleblower compensation of your complaint results in a financial recovery for the federal government. Our lawyers can explain each of these rights (and your other rights as a qui tam whistleblower) in detail, and we encourage you to contact us promptly to learn more.

Can I file a qui tam complaint anonymously?

When you hire a lawyer to file a qui tam complaint under the False Claims Act, your complaint will be filed “under seal.” This means that your identity will only be available to your lawyer and the federal government personnel handling the case. While this initial protection only lasts for 60 days, it can often be renewed—often for several years. Thus, although it is not possible to file a qui tam complaint anonymously, your identity will be protected, and the protection against retaliation ensures that even if your name becomes public record, your employer still cannot take adverse action against you.

Some other federal whistleblower programs allow for complete anonymity. If the information that you have in your possession makes you eligible to file under one of these other programs as well, our lawyers can help you decide how best to approach your whistleblower complaint.

How do I qualify as a qui tam whistleblower?

Anyone who has information about fraud, waste, or abuse under a federal contract or federal program (i.e., Medicare or Medicaid) can potentially qualify as a qui tam whistleblower (unless they themselves are responsible for the fraud, waste, or abuse). If you are thinking about coming forward, we strongly encourage you to schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney at Oberheiden P.C., and your attorney will be able to determine if you qualify to file a qui tam complaint under the False Claims Act.

How do I file a qui tam complaint?

Filing a qui tam complaint is a bit of a complex process. You need to determine where you need to file, and then you must prepare your complaint in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and relevant federal jurisdiction’s local rules. You must also include sufficient information in your complaint to meet the requirements for qualifying as a qui tam relator. As a result, working with an experienced qui tam attorney is strongly recommended. At Oberheiden P.C., our former federal prosecutors have extensive experience handling qui tam cases on behalf of both whistleblowers and the federal government, and we can use our experience to help you file your complaint correctly.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to file a qui tam complaint?

The False Claims Act does not require that qui tam relators hire legal counsel. This means that you can prepare and file a qui tam complaint on your own.

However, as we have discussed, the process of filing a complaint requires knowledge of the relevant federal laws and court procedures. If your complaint is deficient in any respect, or if you file it in the wrong court, you may not secure protection as a False Claims Act whistleblower. As a result, it is best to have an experienced qui tam lawyer on your side.

How much does it cost to hire a qui tam lawyer?

Hiring a qui tam lawyer should cost you nothing. At Oberheiden P.C., we represent all of our whistleblower clients at no out-of-pocket cost. If you choose our firm to represent you and we help you secure a whistleblower award under the False Claims Act, we will receive a percentage of your award as compensation for our legal services.

Are qui tam whistleblowers entitled to compensation?

Qui tam whistleblowers are entitled to compensation in some cases. If the government intervenes and your complaint results in a financial recovery, you may be entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the amount recovered. If the government declines to intervene and you successfully pursue your complaint without the government’s involvement in court, you may be entitled to 25 to 30 percent of the amount recovered.

What is “intervention” in a qui tam case?

When you meet the requirements for filing a qui tam complaint under the False Claims Act, the government is required to investigate. Upon completing its investigation, the government will decide whether to intervene. If the government intervenes, it will take over the case and pursue your complaint directly. If it declines to intervene, you will have the option to continue working with your lawyer to pursue your complaint on the government’s behalf.


Schedule a Free and Confidential Consultation with a Senior Qui Tam Lawyer Today

Do you need to report fraud, waste, or abuse under the False Claims Act? If so, we’re here to help. To schedule an appointment with a senior qui tam lawyer at Oberheiden P.C., please call 888-680-1745 or submit our confidential online contact form today.

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