Qui tam lawsuits are whistleblower lawsuits brought under the federal False Claims Act. The act rewards whistleblowers when the government recovers funds lost to fraud. Our experienced Chicago whistleblower attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates represent whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits.

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What Are Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawsuits?

“Qui tam” is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase, “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,” which, roughly translated, means “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.” Qui tam lawsuits provide a powerful way for whistleblowers to stop different types of financial fraud against the government. Some types of fraud include Medicare and Medicaid fraud and defense contractor fraud.

Successful qui tam cases allow the government to recover funds that have been stolen from the taxpayers and U.S. Treasury. The False Claims Act rewards and provides job protection for whistleblowers who bring successful qui tam lawsuits.

How Do Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawsuits Work?

Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen may sue a business or individual that is defrauding the government to recover funds on behalf of the government. A qui tam lawsuit is filed under seal. Filed under seal means it is kept a secret to give the Justice Department time to investigate the allegations. Not even the business or individual being accused of fraud is told about the lawsuit.

The government investigates the allegations made by the whistleblower, with the assistance of the whistleblower’s attorney, in many cases, and decides whether to intervene (join) in the case. The government only intervenes in a small percentage of qui tam cases. If the government does not intervene, whistleblowers have the option to proceed on their own.

Under the False Claims Act, qui tam cases are sealed for 60 days. Courts generally extend the seal many times to allow the government time to investigate the allegations, which can take years. The government may ask the court to partially lift the seal for the purpose of discussing a settlement with the party accused of fraud. Most successful qui tam cases are resolved through settlement rather than in trial.

How Much Is the Whistleblower Reward in a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

The amount of the reward a whistleblower receives depends on several factors. Some factors include:

  • the number of funds recovered
  • whether or not the government intervenes in the case

In cases where the government intervenes and recovers funds through settlement or trial, the whistleblower (known as the relator) is entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the recovery. In successful cases where the government does not intervene, the whistleblower reward is 25 to 30 percent of the recovery.

Chicago Whistleblower Attorneys Help Stop Fraud Against the Government

Successful qui tam lawsuits can help stop fraud, recover large sums of money for the government, and bring significant financial rewards for whistleblowers. If you are aware of healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud, or other types of fraud against the government, you may have a qui tam whistleblower case. At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates in Chicago, we have a reputation for recovering significant amounts for our clients. Speak with our experienced Chicago whistleblower lawyers about filing a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit.