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Whistleblower Claims Under the False Claims Act

Employment4

The False Claims Act allows private individuals to file lawsuits against other people or entities who have directly or indirectly defrauded the federal government. Those who alert the government of violations that constitute fraud are often referred to as “whistleblowers” and are granted certain protections from retaliation.

The FCA

A person, entity, or business can be found guilty of violating the False Claims Act if it:

  • Knowingly presents a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval to a government entity;
  • Knowingly makes or uses a false record or statement that is material to a false or fraudulent claim to a government entity;
  • Conspires to make a fraudulent claim for payment or to use a false record to make a fraudulent claim to a government entity;
  • Has possession or control of property or money used by the government and knowingly delivers less than all of that property;
  • Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used by the government and makes or delivers the receipt without knowing that the information is true;
  • Knowingly buys or receives as a pledge of a debt public property from an officer or employee of the government; or
  • Knowingly makes or uses a false record that is material to an obligation to pay or to transmit money to the government or conceals an obligation to pay.

Penalties

Those who are found to have violated the False Claims Act are liable for between $5,000 and $10,000 for each false claim plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the government as a result of the defendant’s actions. Violators may also be banned from future contracts with the government and may be required to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees.

In these cases, courts have discretion to award no less than two times the amount of damages that the government suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Whistleblower Rewards

As a reward for reporting fraudulent activity, whistleblowers can be awarded between 15 percent and 25 percent of the government’s recovery.  In addition, whistleblowers are entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Contact an Experienced Tampa Employment Law Attorney Today

If you live in Tampa and believe that your employer has violated the False Claims Act or if you have been falsely accused of violating this law, please call Saady & Saxe, P.A. Attorneys At Law at 813-909-8855 to speak with an experienced employment law attorney today.

Resources:

law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/3729

justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-edpa/legacy/2011/04/18/Internet%20Whistleblower%20update_0.pdf

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