What is a qui tam lawsuit and how is it initiated?
Qui tam lawsuits are a type of lawsuit whistleblowers bring under the False Claims Act, which is a law that rewards whistleblowers for helping the government to recover funds lost through fraudulent conduct. Qui tam lawsuits are a powerful tool through which individuals can help the government recoup losses from, and stop, many different kinds of fraud.
The qui tam case is initiated with help from qualified qui tam attorneys like those at Kenney & McCafferty when the relator files a Complaint in Federal District Court “under seal.” This means that for at least 60 days, the complaint is not disclosed to any party except the Court and government prosecutors. At the same time, the relator serves a “Disclosure Statement” on the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice. This statement is crucial to the outcome of the case as it helps direct the government’s investigation of the fraud and greatly influences DOJ’s decision on whether or not to intervene in the case.