False Claims Acts are state and federal laws that allow individuals who report fraud on the government to receive a monetary reward.
By filing what's called a "qui tam" lawsuit, the person reporting the fraud (also known as the "Relator") can set in motion a government investigation of the suspected fraud.
If the investigation bears fruit and the suit is successful, it not only stops the dishonest conduct, but also deters similar conduct by others and may result in the Relator's receipt of a substantial share of the government's ultimate recovery, generally between 15 and 25% of the total.
The federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. Sections 3729-33), also called the "Lincoln Law," "Informer's Act," or the "Qui Tam statute," was enacted during the Civil War. Qui Tam is shorthand for the Latin phrase "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro seipse," meaning "he who sues for the king as for himself."
The law was targeted at stopping dishonest suppliers to the Union military at a time when the war effort made it difficult for the government to investigate and prosecute the fraud on its own.
Many whistleblowers, including the Relator in this case, have brought successful actions, earning substantial whistleblower rewards and resulting in billions of dollars being returned to federal and state governments.
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