A Timeline for Qui Tam Lawsuits
You are doing your job when you discover evidence of fraud by your employer. What happens next? How do you do the right thing and put a stop to this illegal behavior?
Someone who reports fraud, misconduct or other illegal activity within an organization or business is a whistleblower. As a whistleblower, you will work with your attorney to notify the Department of Justice about the wrongful act and take steps to stop your employer’s behavior and recover the government’s money.
How does this happen? We’ve created a step-by-step guide for potential whistleblowers.
Step 1: Gather Your Evidence
Collect evidence of the fraud or misconduct. Make copies of any emails. Memos, billing records, internal reports, or other documents that support your claim of wrongdoing. Keep this evidence confidential. Do not share this evidence with anyone except your lawyer.
Step 2: Contact a Qui Tam Lawyer
Schedule a consultation with an attorney who handles Qui Tam lawsuits and False Claim Act cases. Bring a copy of your evidence to the appointment. Your attorney will examine the evidence and discuss your legal options.
Filing a Qui Tam case is expensive and time consuming, but you also risk retaliation from your employer and co-workers. Therefore, it is important that your attorney give you an honest evaluation of your case. Your attorney should tell you if your case is not worth your time.
Step 3: Decide if You Will Proceed with Your Case
If your attorney thinks your case is worthwhile, he will explain the whistleblower procedure, your responsibilities, and the risks you take as a whistleblower. Once you have this information, you can decide whether or not to file a Qui Tam claim.
Step 4: File the Qui Tam Claim
If you and your attorney decide to proceed with the case, your attorney will help you file your claim in court and submit it to the justice department. Your attorney will make sure the case is filed correctly and in the correct jurisdiction. The case will be filed “under seal”, which means that it will be kept confidential for a period of time. You will not be allowed to discuss your case with anyone except your attorney and the justice department.
Step 5: Assist with the Department of Justice Investigation
After you have filed your Qui Tam lawsuit, the Department of Justice will begin an investigation. You will be interviewed about the case. You may be asked to obtain additional information or evidence.
Step 6: The Government Decides Whether or Not to Proceed With the Lawsuit
When the investigation is complete, the Department of Justice will decide whether or not it will take over your case. If the government pursues a false claims action, you may be asked to testify in court. If the government recovers money, you will be awarded a percentage of the recovery.
If the Department of Justice decides not to pursue the case, you have the option of continuing the lawsuit on behalf of the government.
Step 7: You Decide Whether to Pursue a Qui Tam Action
If the Department of Justice declines the case, your attorney will help you determine if it is worth the time and effort to pursue the case. Qui Tam lawsuits are expensive, but if your case is successful, you will be entitled to a larger percentage of the recovery.
Call Us to Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation
Take the first step to becoming a whistleblower. Contact Petrelli Law at 800-432-9461 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call or fill out our online contact form. An attorney will listen to your story, examine your evidence, and discuss your legal options.