The term “qui tam” is derived from the Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,” which means “he who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.” It is a key element of the False Claims Act, one of the United States’ most robust whistleblower protection laws. Navigating the complexities of qui tam provisions is no trivial matter; it requires a nuanced understanding of numerous intricate details and legal requirements. Mistakes can be costly for those who attempt to pursue a claim without proper guidance. With this in mind, we urge individuals who believe they may have a viable False Claims Act case to seek knowledgeable counsel. For more resources and support, please visit our Whistleblower Resources page.

What is Qui Tam?

Qui tam refers to a legal provision that empowers individuals with knowledge of fraud against government programs to initiate a lawsuit on the government’s behalf. These whistleblowers act as private attorneys general, bringing to light wrongdoing that might otherwise go unnoticed, thereby protecting public funds and interests. 

What is a Qui Tam Relator?

A qui tam relator is the whistleblower or informant in a qui tam lawsuit. They are the individual or entity that steps forward with information about the fraud and commences legal action under the False Claims Act. The relator’s role is pivotal in exposing fraud and reclaiming government funds.

What are Common Types of Qui Tam Relator?

Qui tam relators come from various backgrounds, each with unique insights into potential fraud. Common types include:

  • Government employees who detect fraud in their agency
  • Healthcare professionals who observe billing fraud
  • Contractors or subcontractors who notice overcharges
  • Industry insiders who uncover corporate fraud

What is a Qui Tam Relator in Healthcare?

In the healthcare industry, qui tam relators are often practitioners, administrators, or employees who notice illegal practices such as kickbacks, upcoding, or billing for services not rendered. Their insider position enables them to provide valuable evidence that can lead to the recovery of substantial amounts of misappropriated government healthcare funds.

The False Claims Act & Qui Tam Relators

The False Claims Act (FCA) is a federal law that sets the stage for qui tam lawsuits. It outlaws knowingly presenting false claims for payment to the federal government. Qui tam relators, under the FCA, can sue the fraudsters on the government’s behalf and may receive a portion of the recovered funds as a reward. 

How are Qui Tam Relators Protected?

The protection of qui tam relators is a cornerstone of the FCA. It includes provisions that shield whistleblowers from retaliation, such as termination, demotion, or harassment, for participating in the exposure of fraud. 

What Kind of Evidence Does a Qui Tam Relator Need to Report Fraud?

Evidence is vital in any qui tam action. Relators must present concrete proof of fraud, such as emails, financial records, internal memos, or audio recordings. The type of evidence varies depending on the nature of the fraud, but its solidity can significantly affect the outcome of the case.

How Does a Qui Tam Relator Report Fraud?

To report fraud, a qui tam relator should first consult with a qualified attorney to ensure the evidence meets legal standards and to navigate the complexities of filing a claim. At Phillips & Cohen, we help guide our whistleblowers through the process, maintaining confidentiality and providing expert legal advice every step of the way.

Expert Whistleblower Representation with Phillips and Cohen

Phillips & Cohen have been at the forefront of representing qui tam whistleblowers for over three decades. Our firm’s founding partner was instrumental in shaping the modern-day False Claims Act. We understand the intricacies of these cases and the importance of protecting our clients. If you suspect government fraud and are considering whistleblowing, reach out to our experienced attorneys for a confidential case review here and begin the conversation on how we can assist you in this pivotal role. Contact us today or submit a confidential case review

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