While COVID-19 will force the legal industry to adapt and evolve, some areas of law will remain unchanged. One such area involves claims brought under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The FCA was passed in 1863 to address fraudulent claims for government benefits and is still in effect today. The FCA authorizes the federal government and private citizens to bring suits against individuals and businesses who knowingly submit a false claim for government benefits. When a private citizen brings the claim it is known as a “qui tam” suit and the citizen is known as a “whistleblower.” If a whistleblower successfully brings a qui tam lawsuit, they are rewarded with a portion of the recovered damages ranging from 15-30 percent.
With the recent passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), many businesses and individuals will be applying for government benefits. Most of these claims will be legitimate, but others may seek to take advantage of the government by providing false information to receive benefits they are not entitled to. Bringing a qui tam lawsuit can assist the government catching crooks while also being financially rewarding. However, you must act quickly once you obtain evidence of fraud. If you are not the first to bring the allegations, the lawsuit may be dismissed. The lawsuit may also be dismissed if the details of the fraud are made public before your case is filed. Which means it is important to never discuss the lawsuit with anyone other than your lawyer.
When a person comes forward with information of fraudulent activity and files a qui tam lawsuit, they take on professional and personal risks. Without the assistance of experienced attorneys like the ones at Mase Mebane, the process can be lengthy and stressful. On the other hand, when you hand the reins to a strong legal team, the process will be smoother and you have a far greater chance of success.
If you or a loved one have knowledge of a false claim for government benefits, then you need to call Mase Mebane to have your case assessed by attorneys experienced with qui tam law.
Whistleblowing and Retaliation
Employees should feel safe to report violations of their employers, especially when it comes to the safety of employees. That is why Florida law protects employees from whistleblower retaliation.
To make a successful whistleblower claim, the plaintiff(s) must establish that:
- They objected to or refused to participate in an illegal activity, policy, or practice of their employer;
- They suffered an adverse employment action, such as termination or demotion; and
- The adverse employment action was causally linked to the objection or refusal to participate.
If you refused to participate in what you believed was an illegal activity and your employer punished you for it, then you should call an attorney today.Back to Coronavirus Claims