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Qui Tam

Qui tam law lets individuals sue on behalf of the government if they know about someone cheating the government, and they can receive a reward if money is recovered.

California Qui Tam Attorneys

At Matern Law Group, we are committed to protecting the rights of employees and consumers, including the right to report illegal or unethical activity without fear of retaliation or intimidation.

What is Qui Tam?

Qui tam is a provision in the False Claims Act that allows private individuals, often called “whistleblowers,” to sue on behalf of the government if they have evidence that someone or a company is defrauding the government. The whistleblower can potentially receive a portion of any money recovered through the lawsuit as a reward for their role in uncovering the fraud.

For consumers and employees, qui tam actions provide a way to fight against unethical practices and protect public funds. If you’re aware of fraud against the government, you can take legal action, even if you’re not directly harmed by the fraud. This can include things like overcharging for government services, billing for services not provided, or any other actions that improperly take money from government programs.

Legal repercussions for engaging in qui tam actions can vary:

  1. For Whistleblowers: There’s a potential financial reward if the lawsuit results in the recovery of government funds. However, whistleblowers might also face retaliation from their employers, such as being fired or demoted. The False Claims Act offers protection against such retaliation, and whistleblowers can sue for damages if they’re retaliated against.

  2. For Accused Parties: Companies or individuals found guilty of defrauding the government can face significant financial penalties, including fines and repayment of improperly obtained funds. They may also face criminal charges if the fraud is severe.

In summary, qui tam actions empower individuals to act as watchdogs on behalf of the government to expose and deter fraud, with financial incentives for whistleblowers and strict penalties for those found guilty of fraud.

Filing Qui Tam Lawsuits

A qui tam lawsuit, which is a way to report fraud against the government, you need to be the first one to bring the information forward—it can’t be something already known by the public or something you heard from someone else. Before officially filing your lawsuit, you must secretly share this information with the government.

This gives them a chance to look into your claims without anyone else knowing. After the government checks out your story, they’ll decide if they want to join your lawsuit. If they do, they’ll help lead the charge; if not, you and your lawyer can move forward on your own.

Filing this type of lawsuit is tricky and can come with challenges, like possible backlash, legal battles against you, or damage to your reputation. That’s why it’s crucial to have a lawyer who knows the ropes and can protect you along the way.

Generally, you have six years from when the fraud happened (or should have been noticed) to file a qui tam lawsuit. But if you’re dealing with workplace issues like harassment or being unfairly fired, you have much less time to take legal action. This is why acting quickly and getting a lawyer who specializes in these cases is very important.

If you think a company is cheating the government and you have evidence, reaching out for a free chat with a lawyer skilled in whistleblower cases is a good step. They can help you understand what you’re up against and what you can do about it.

Our Approach

Our Practices are Guided by Integrity. We’ll protect what you deserve.

We work tirelessly and fight tenaciously to hold rights abusers accountable.

If you’ve experienced a distressing incident related to an issue like this, call us for a free case evaluation.

Did You Know?

Qui Tam
A "qui tam" lawsuit is a suit filed by a private citizen on behalf of a government entity, against someone who sought to obtain government money by fraud.
Whistleblowing
California whistleblower protection laws prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who come forward to report suspected violations of laws, regulations, and public policy.
The FCA
Those who investigate and provide testimony and assistance in a False Claims Act case also are protected.

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

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