A qui tam action lawsuit is brought forward by an individual who believes an organization is defrauding the government in a particular way. In most cases, the person taking action is an employee of the organization. A qui tam claim allows the government to recover the amount lost because of fraud. The employee who comes forward with the information might receive a small percentage of the recovery as a reward.
If a qui tam complaint is registered by a private individual who is not an employee of the organization in question, the matter is placed under seal for no less than 60 days while the government investigates. If there is enough evidence to pursue the matter, the government may get involved and take charge of the qui tam proceedings.
Those who are found guilty of qui tam offenses are charged with violations of the False Claims Act and have to pay back three times the amount that was fraudulently obtained. The defendant might face hefty fines on top of that, as well as punitive damages in severe cases. People who come forward and provide important information in qui tam cases may be awarded 15 to 30 percent of the total recovered amount. However, if the government is not involved and the money is still recovered, the reward percentage could increase.
If you believe your employer or another organization is defrauding the government and making money illegally, you have the right to file a qui tam complaint. It is advisable to discuss the situation with an attorney before starting the procedure. The attorney will assist you in the process and might be able to get you a higher reward.