If you work for a company that you know is defrauding the U.S. government, you’re in a tough spot. If you say nothing, you allow a federal crime to be committed. You might even be implicated in the commission of the crime. If you object, you will probably lose your job. But your situation is not as dire as it may first appear. You have rights in this situation, and with the assistance of an experienced and determined qui tam attorney, you can blow the whistle on this corruption and possibly collect compensation for your efforts from the government and your employer. Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law can help you prosecute an effective qui tam case while enforcing your federally protected whistleblower rights. You can trust us to work diligently on your case, no matter how complex, to deliver the best possible results.
Qui tam is a concept from English common law incorporated into U.S. law with passage of the False Claims Act. The FCA allows individuals with knowledge of fraud against the U.S. government to bring suit on behalf of the government. This is known as a qui tam action, from the Latin phrase, qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, which means “[he] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.” As a qui tam plaintiff, you file suit against your employer or a government contractor who you know is defrauding the government. If your lawsuit prevails, the government collects damages for the fraud, and you receive a portion of that recovery, usually about 15 to 25 percent.
Virginia has its own version of the False Claims Act that allows qui tam actions for plaintiffs who have knowledge of fraud against the commonwealth.
Basically, you can file a qui tam action if you have knowledge that a company has submitted a fraudulent claim to the U.S. government that results in a financial loss to the government. This might include:
A qui tam plaintiff must be “first to file” the action. You cannot piggyback on a federal investigation; you must present new evidence of wrongdoing that the government has not already discovered. There is also a statute of limitations for qui tam actions that may run from six to ten years, depending on the facts in your case. Our whistleblower defense lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.
As a qui tam plaintiff, you are entitled to federal whistleblower protections. This makes it illegal for your employer to discriminate against you on the job for bringing the lawsuit. If your employer fires you, demotes you, reassigns you, or harasses you on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. Virginia law also protects qui tam plaintiffs who bring actions under Virginia’s version of the False Claims Act.
Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law provides reliable guidance and skilled trial representation in state and federal qui tam cases. For a trustworthy evaluation of your case, speak to a knowledgeable lawyer today. To schedule an appointment, call 757-215-4818 or contact our Virginia Beach office online.
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