It is against the law for any individual or company to improperly demand payment by the government. This applies regardless of whether a party is an employee, a contractor, or any other entity doing business with the United States.
An intentional act that demands a fraudulent payment is a violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). Despite this fact, false claims remain prevalent. Making matters worse, the various government agencies lack the resources necessary to investigate and punish these events. As a result, they often rely on whistleblowers to alert them to the presence of fraud.
A Greenville False Claims Act lawyer could help you if you have witnessed a violation of the FCA and wish to serve as a whistleblower. This includes filing requests for rewards under the Qui Tam program as well as protecting you against any potential retaliation.
The False Claims Act (FCA) is a portion of federal law that controls how parties can demand payment from the federal government. Most claims for payment are legal. These include employees drawing paychecks and contractors providing goods or services. The government relies on these parties to submit accurate and appropriate demands for payment.
Congress created the False Claims Act as a criminal statute that punishes fraud against the government. Under 31 United States Code § 3729, it is against the law for any party to knowingly submit a fraudulent or false claim for payment. Examples can include submitting a false timesheet, charging for services not provided, and overcharging for materials.
A violation of this statute can result in the payment of stiff penalties. A Greenville False Claims Act attorney can provide more information about this law and what behavior may constitute a violation.
The Department of Justice takes an active role in investigating and punishing acts of fraud against the government. Even so, it has limited resources and relies on the eyes and ears of ordinary citizens to target violators.
All individuals may inform the government of the illegal activity. In fact, many of these people are eligible to collect a reward. This is possible when the whistleblower provides new information that results in a successful investigation and conviction.
Parties can request a reward by filing a writ of Qui Tam. According to 31 United States Code § 3730(c)(5), the reward will be somewhere between 15 and 25 percent of the funds recovered in the case. Still, certain parties are not eligible to collect these payments. They include:
An experienced Columbia False Claims Act lawyer can help to determine if a person may qualify for a reward after serving as a whistleblower.
The government has an interest in ensuring that it does not lose money to fraud. The resulting False Claims Act aims to punish individuals and companies that knowingly submit false claims for payment. In many of these investigations, the case begins when a whistleblower comes forward with new information about fraud.
A local False Claims Act lawyer could help you to take this step. An attorney can help to investigate the apparent fraud, form a complaint that initiates a case, and demand a reward through a writ of Qui Tam. Contact an attorney in Greenville today to learn more.