When an employer is taking part in illegal or fraudulent activities, it can be hard for the government to find out about this behavior without the help of an inside source. If an employee suspects that their employer is breaking the law, they may be hesitant to say anything because they fear that they’ll lose their job or their employer will retaliate in some other way.
Fraud is a serious offense, and it often means your employer is stealing or withholding a significant amount of money from the government. If you find out that your employer is committing fraud, it’s important to take note, because when you work with the government, they’ll typically reward and protect you. A federal whistleblower lawyer from Snider & Associates, LLC can help you handle this complex matter.
Types of Fraud Covered by the False Claims Act
The False Claims Act (FCA) has helped the government recover over $20 billion from government contractors in the past two decades. The FCA covers some types of fraud, including:
- Overbilling the government
- Providing substandard parts in government contracts
- Fraud by defense contractors
- Paying employees fewer wages
- Fraud in scientific federal grants
- Fraud by healthcare providers
- Falsification of records or invoices
- Billing the government for work that was never performed
What Is a Whistleblower?
In this context, a whistleblower is an employee who learns that their employer has engaged in fraud and then tells the government about this illegal activity. With the help of a federal whistleblower attorney, a whistleblower can file a qui tam lawsuit against the employer and help the government recover any compensation that the employer has taken.
The FCA incentivizes whistleblowers to bring forth claims by awarding them up to 30 percent of the recovered compensation.
The Process of a Qui Tam Lawsuit
In a qui tam lawsuit, a whistleblower must have first-hand knowledge of the illegal activity that has taken place. Just like any civil or criminal lawsuit, there must be sufficient evidence to prove that fraudulent activity has occurred beyond a reasonable doubt.
It’s important to note that there must also be a significant amount of money at stake for there to be grounds for a qui tam lawsuit. You must file a qui tam lawsuit within six years of when the illegal act took place.
Whistleblower Protection under the False Claims Act
The FCA has a provision that protects whistleblowers against retaliation at work. The provision makes it illegal for employers to discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or in any other manner discriminate against employees because they file a whistleblower claim.
Not only are whistleblowers incentivized to report fraud and any other illegal activity they witness, but there’s no need for you to fear retaliation of any kind, because you can hold your employer legally accountable.
Contact a Federal Whistleblower Attorney
Qui tam lawsuits can be complex and take a long time to get sorted out. It’s often essential to have an experienced attorney by your side to navigate the legal process. To speak with a federal whistleblower lawyer from Snider & Associates, LLC, fill out the contact form below or call 410-653-9060 to schedule a consultation.