It is likely that you have heard of some famous whistleblowers in the past. Whistleblowing is when an employee of either the government or a business refuses to participate in fraudulent dealings. The Whistleblower will then “blow the whistle” on the fraud.
Whistleblowers can exist in all business verticals, but there are special provisions for whistleblowing about a private company engaging in fraudulent actions to defraud the government. According to FindLaw, the False Claims Act addresses these under Qui Tam Actions.
What are Qui Tam Actions?
The phrase “Qui Tam” is Latin and derives from a longer phrase which roughly translates to “[a person] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.” This is a reference to the whistleblower in a Qui Tam Action receiving money as well as the government recouping losses from the fraudulent business.
How much money can a whistleblower get from Qui Tam Actions?
The exact amount a whistleblower gets from bringing Qui Tam Actions to the court depends on the actual details of the case. However, if the courts find the defendant liable, this can be devastatingly expensive for the business. If a court finds the defendant liable for these claims, the defendant will need to pay all involved court costs in addition to fines and reinstituting the original amount that the company defrauded from the government.
It is also possible for the court to find the defendant guilty of Qui Tam Actions even if the company in question was not doing so purposefully. The only thing that is necessary is the prosecution prove that the company committed fraudulent actions with reckless disregard.