How to be a Successful Whistleblower Under the False Claims Act and Still Have Money for Lunch
A corporate insider is in a unique position to know the details about how their employer has cheated the United States Government. Nothing beats the knowledge an insider can impart. Whistleblowers are the real heroes in the fight against fraud. The person (plaintiff) who brings an action under the False Claims Act is called a “relator.”
The False Claims Act enables people to expose fraud and was originally enacted in 1863 for that very purpose. In general, the False Claims Act covers fraud involving any federally funded contract or program, with the exception of income tax fraud. The healthcare and defense industry have traditionally been the top two areas involving prosecution under the False Claims Act.
The word alone of a whistleblower is simply not enough. A whistleblower needs to organize and collect evidence of the fraud so there is a sound basis of proof to support the allegations.
The types of allegations for which a corporate insider needs evidence under the False Claims Act include corporate involvement on the following:
1. Knowingly submitting (or causing the submission of) false or fraudulent claims for payment by the Federal Government.
2. Knowingly making (or causing to be made) a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Federal Government.
3. Knowingly making (or causing to be made) a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit property to the Federal Government.
The False Claims Act is intended to reach all fraudulent activity which causes the government to pay out too much money. Some common forms are claims for goods or services not provided, or provided in violation of contract terms, specification, statute, or regulation (such as in conjunction with kickbacks). Each and every claim submitted under a contract or other agreement which was originally obtained by means of false statements, falsities, or in knowing violation of any statute or applicable regulation, constitutes a false claim.
KEEP QUIET AND SHARE YOUR CONCERNS WITH NO ONE until you have spoken with an attorney who specializes in the False Claims Act. Many before you have spoken up only to have become summarily “let go” or demoted. Speak up and you might not have money for lunch at the end of the day.