If you suspect or know that your employer or any other party is attempting or committing fraud against the government, contact Nix Patterson. We have a robust department of lawyers and staff dedicated to prosecuting whistleblower and False Claims Act (“FCA”) litigation on behalf of the United States and state governments. The FCA allows private citizens to report companies and individuals who commit fraud on the government for financial gain.
Remember, whistleblowing on fraud or any other unlawful activity that goes against the public interest benefits you — the taxpayer — and the government. Whistleblowers are essential in holding companies and industries accountable and protecting taxpayer dollars.
To encourage whistleblowers (known as “relators” under the FCA) to step forward, the federal government rewards them with a percentage of the funds recovered from successful litigation. Other federal agencies, including the SEC and the IRS, have established programs to reward whistleblowers who provide information leading to successful enforcement actions involving financial fraud.
Even though you may be nervous about coming forward for fear of repercussions from your boss or other involved persons or companies, laws are in place to protect you from retaliation. As a whistleblower, you can file a Qui Tam lawsuit to inform federal authorities of fraudulent activity. This is a civil lawsuit that an individual or entity can file under the False Claims Act to stop fraud against the government.
Nix Patterson understands that you may feel vulnerable. In cases across the United States, we have represented whistleblowers in FCA litigation involving various industries, including healthcare, finance, banking, insurance, oil and gas, accounting, and other industries. Our whistleblower attorneys are here to inform you of your rights and help you secure favorable results.
For example, Nix Patterson represented a whistleblower in multiple FCA cases alleging that major energy companies were underpaying federal oil and gas royalties. These cases resulted in several significant settlements for the government. Nix Patterson incurred more than $5 million in out-of-pocket expenses assisting the government in one of these cases alone.
Other notable whistleblower cases we have handled include:
Fraud exists in virtually every industry of the government that deals with contracting. Examples of fraud include:
Initially enacted in 1863 by Congress but later amended in 1943 and 1986, the False Claims Act, also called the Lincoln Law, allows private parties to file civil lawsuits against individuals, companies, or other parties allegedly defrauding the government.
“Qui tam” refers to the part of the FCA that allows private citizens with insider information to file suit on behalf of the government and pursue recovery of improperly reimbursed or retained government funds. In exchange, the government may reward the private citizen with a percentage of the recovery.
Qui tam is a Latin phrase that means “Who sues on behalf of the King as well as for himself.” In common law, the person who reports fraud may file a lawsuit on behalf of the government — the plaintiff in this case. The government has the right to intervene and join whistleblower lawsuits.
Under the False Claims Act, some of the actions that may be considered violations of the Act include:
Any individual or entity with evidence of fraud against federal contracts or programs may whistleblow and file a suit. To do this, you must file an action — in camera and under seal — in a federal district court.
You should note that you can’t bring an action if the government or any other individual has filed a false claim suit using the same evidence. This is known as the “first to file” rule.
The public disclosure bar may also prevent you from filing a false claim lawsuit. Here, the FCA prohibits whistleblowers from bringing claims based on information previously disclosed to the public through channels like the media. For example, if a newspaper publishes an article accusing a pharmaceutical company of defrauding a government agency, one cannot use the same information to file a lawsuit. A whistleblower must be the “original source” of such information.
The reward for successful whistleblower claims varies depending on many factors. Citizens can expect a substantial share of the financial recovery in a false claim case — typically up to 30% of the government funds recovered.
According to the Department of Justice, over $5.6 billion was recovered from civil cases involving fraud and false claims in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021. But note that every false claim case is unique, and there is no guarantee that you’ll receive any money. That said, our False Claims Act lawyers are here to listen to you and offer advice and guidance.
The FCA protects whistleblowers from forms of retaliation, including:
If your employer is mistreating you because you spoke out, you can file a suit against them for damages, which may include reinstatement. At Nix Patterson, our whistleblower lawyers will advocate that your rights are upheld during and after the lawsuit.
False-claims lawsuits are complex. Still, the legal team at Nix Patterson has the know-how to handle whistleblower lawsuits and other areas of law. Our lawyers are experienced in handling false claim cases, and we have the resources to cover all case-related expenses.
Here’s how Nix Patterson can help with your qui tam lawsuit and other whistleblower claims:
Under the FCA, you must hire a lawyer to represent you in a False Claims Act case. Our lawyers understand that you might be hesitant to file a suit, but you should know that Nix Patterson treats all its cases, including FCA lawsuits, with the utmost confidentiality.
Our experience and history has made Nix Patterson a first choice in whistleblower and FCA litigation around the country.
Initiating FCA litigation is a complex and time-consuming process that requires an in-depth front-end investigation — often with the help of private investigators and other experts — to determine if the alleged fraud is true. Nix Patterson will advance all costs of investigating, preparing, filing, and prosecuting FCA cases on behalf of whistleblowers, and will work diligently alongside whistleblowers to fashion the most accurate and compelling case possible.
In addition, our FCA department has established relationships with skilled investigators, economists, statisticians, accountants, auditors, and other industry-specific experts to assist in compiling the information and evidence necessary for a successful FCA case. And, because Nix Patterson represents whistleblowers on a contingent basis, whistleblowers will not have to pay any attorneys’ fees unless the case is successful.
If you suspect someone is trying to defraud the government, you have the right to file a qui tam claim. While it’s not guaranteed, you may potentially receive a significant award and immunity under the False Claims Act.
At Nix Patterson, our experienced team of lawyers will guide you through all the steps, ensuring your whistleblower suit is filed in compliance with federal law. Call us today at 512-328-5333 to schedule your free case review.
And remember, when it comes to blowing the whistle and initiating FCA litigation, we are there for our clients from start to finish.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
"*" indicates required fields