FAQ About The False Claims Act
Can I get an award?
Yes. If there is a recovery under the false claims act the whistleblower is entitled to receive between 15 and 25% of the amount the government received if the government intervened and between 25 and 30% if the government declined intervention.
How long does a case typically take?
Most successful False Claims Act cases take many years to resolve because of the time necessary to investigate and then litigate the case.
What is a false claim?
A false claim is a false demand for payment of which there are many types. There are factually false claims, such as billing for a service or product not provided and false claims based on false certifications, claims tainted by kickbacks, or other fraudulently induced claims.
Do I need actual evidence of the fraud?
Technically no, but practically yes. It is highly unlikely that a case will be successful without evidence of the false claims.
Can I remain anonymous?
Most likely not. Even though the case is filed under seal most cases are eventually unsealed and made public. Recently courts appear to be more reluctant to permit declined and voluntarily dismissed false claims act cases to remain under seal.
How does my attorney get paid?
Most false claims act attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, meaning the law firm pays for all costs and expenses and only gets paid if there is a recovery.
Do I have a case?
That depends on the evidence you have and whether the government has been defrauded by the defendant submitting a false claim.
Why didn’t the government intervene in my case?
There could be many reasons why the government did not intervene in your case. The government may not intervene because the government attorney does not believe that the facts support your allegations that a false claim was submitted, that the law did not support a violation of the false claims act based on the facts presented, that the damages are too small, that the government has limited resources and decided that it cannot pursue your case, or that the agency affected it not interested in pursuing your claim.
Are these cases difficult to win?
Yes. They are very difficult. The government intervenes in less than 25% of the cases filed and of those it does intervene in those cases recover over 90% of the money obtained under the False Claims Act. There are also many hurdles to overcome including a public disclosure bar and first to file bar.
Why are so many cases dismissed?
Declined cases are difficult to pursue and many lawyers will dismiss the case if the government does not intervene. If you have a good case, the case can and should be pursued even if the government declines. You should discuss your options with your lawyer.
What is Rule 9(b)?
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) requires that fraud be pled with particularity, meaning the who, what, when, and where of the fraud. Many false claims act lawsuits are dismissed under this rule because the complaint does not contain the specifics of the fraud.