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SALT LAKE CITY
QUI TAM LITIGATION ATTORNEY

It is estimated that the financial losses due to fraudulent claims are in the tens of billions of dollars each year in the healthcare sector alone. Anytime a company or business acts in a way that is “defrauding” the federal government it costs tax payers. The government depends on “whistleblowers” to help fight fraud and abuse and protect taxpayer dollars. When an individual (often an employee) brings a law suit on behalf of the government against a defrauding party it is called a “qui tam claim.” These claims are generally brought under the False Claims Act which provides whistleblowers an avenue to work with the government to bring a claim and to recieve a financial reward for their efforts and honesty.  The whistleblower could ultimately receive a percentage of the compensation recovered and attorney’s fees. Qui tam claims are unique in that there is the possibility of “treble” damages. This means that damages could be tripled. The False Claims Act also provides whistleblowers with protections against retaliation.

At Eisenberg, Gilchrist & Cutt, we provide experienced qui tam representation to clients throughout Utah and the intermountain west. We highly recommend that you immediately seek legal representation in order to learn more about False Claims Act law cases. It is important to keep in mind that your employer cannot retaliate against you for making a qui tam claim and there are laws that protect you. Talk to one of our Salt Lake City qui tam litigation lawyers today.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Video Transcription

A qui tam or qui tam lawsuit is a case brought literally by a private individual on behalf of the federal government. The federal False Claims Act and state False Claims Acts that are similar to that, allow an individual to come forward and file a lawsuit as a private–what they call–“relator.” You are literally relating the information on behalf of the government to the department of justice or the state attorney general against the defendant.

one of the unique things about this body of law is that the whistleblower or relator doesn’t have to be personally harmed, they just have to have the information to relate. and they can bring that case on behalf of the federal government or state government against a fraud perpetrator that they know about and have evidence against.

Video Transcription

The way to choose the best qui tam or whistleblower lawyer is to find the lawyer that can communicate with you and that has the personal qualities that you feel like you can trust and work with. You need to find someone that has the skill set, experience, and the package of skills to both litigate the case as well as put the case together at the outset that you are comfortable with.

Another important quality is particularly early on in a case. A whistleblower is going to feel a lot of trepidation. They are putting their career on the line, they are afraid of retaliation. Someone that you can talk to you, that you can meet with, and that is accessible to you, that can discuss your case, your fears, your anxieties, and what you are actually going through as a person is a critical quality.

Video Transcription

The government’s efforts to fight fraud are not all lumped under the false claims act. For example, tax fraud is specifically excluded from the federal false claims act but there is a separate IRS whistleblower body of law that can be invoked for private whistleblowers now to bring issues forward. There are also securities fraud laws that now the securities exchange commission has statutory authority under those.

We listen compassionately, we listen intently and every week I refer clients to other lawyers or recommend how they can find a lawyer if they don’t know someone in their city that can actually focus on what they are bringing forward if it is not something we handle.

Video Transcription

The government’s efforts to fight fraud are not all lumped under the false claims act. For example, tax fraud is specifically excluded from the federal false claims act but there is a separate IRS whistleblower body of law that can be invoked for private whistleblowers now to bring issues forward. There are also securities fraud laws that now the securities exchange commission has statutory authority under those.

We listen compassionately, we listen intently and every week I refer clients to other lawyers or recommend how they can find a lawyer if they don’t know someone in their city that can actually focus on what they are bringing forward if it is not something we handle.

If you have information about fraudulent actions which you believe are defrauding the government, seek legal counsel immediately. Contact Eisenberg, Gilchrist & Cutt to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential qui tam claim and how our law firm can help you at 801.366.9100.

FALSE CLAIMS ACT BASICS

The Federal False Claims Act makes it unlawful for any person or entity to knowingly submit a false or fraudulent claim to the government, knowingly make a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid by the government, or knowingly make or use a false record or statement to avoid or decrease an obligation to pay the government.

The False Claims Act authorizes individuals to work with and on behalf of the government to file suit against people and entities that are defrauding or cheating the government. In return, whistleblowers are entitled to a significant reward of between 15 and 30 percent of the government’s overall recovery.

Further, under the False Claims Act, an individual who is discharged, demoted, harassed, or otherwise discriminated against in the workplace because of lawful efforts taken by them to expose the fraudulent scheme are entitled to relief, including reinstatement after firing, double back pay, and compensation for any special damages including litigation costs.

There are also roughly 30 state and local false claims acts, which contain similar provisions allowing whistleblowers to cooperate with and act on behalf of the government to root out fraud.

TYPES OF WHISTLEBLOWER CASES

Healthcare Fraud (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare)

While fraud pervades all aspects of government spending, there is one area that, in the past decade or more, has surpassed all others: HEALTH CARE.

By far, government is the largest single payer of health care dollars to providers, suppliers, pharmaceutical companies and the like throughout the United States… Read More

Customs & Duties Fraud

Another form of false claim is what has become known as a “reverse false claim.” In these cases, a person or entity makes a false statement, record, or otherwise takes action to reduce or delay payment of money owed to the government. This situation can arise in many ways…. Read More

Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Fraud

Pharmaceuticals make up a massive portion of health care expenditures every year in the United States. Because the profit margins to pharmaceutical companies are so high, schemes abound to promote the overuse of expensive drugs in every sector of our health care system…. Read More

Oil & Gas Royalty and Government Lease Fraud

The Department of Interior (DOI) is responsible for the management of some 700 million acres of public lands, and over the last 10 years alone has leased nearly 30 million acres for oil and gas… Read More

Construction Contract and Defense Contract Fraud

State and federal governments spend tens of billions of dollars each year on construction projects: roads, buildings, bridges, dams, waterways, just about anything that can be built… Read More

Other Types of Cases under the Federal False Claims Act

Federal False Claims Act also covers claims involving:

Federal reasearch grant fraud

Disaster relief fraud

Federally-insured housing and education loan fraud

If you have information about a corporation or individual that is cheating the federal government, you could be rewarded for reporting what you know to the government. However, in order to receive certain protections and rewards, whistleblowers must comply with the unique provisions of the False Claims Act. This is why it is critical to obtain legal counsel early on to assist you in making your report to the government.

If you would like to discuss a potential False Claims Act case or discuss your whistleblower rights and protections, please contact our team for a free consultation. Many whistleblowers worry that they will not be able to afford the legal representation they need. However, our lawyers are not paid unless and until we obtain a reward on your behalf and all our costs and fees are paid from the proceeds of the case.

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Eisenberg, Gilchrist and Cutt was invaluable in helping us through a difficult time. Our son was involved in a horrible accident and we weren't sure if he would survive. We were dealing with doctors, medical bills, and overwhelming emotions on how we would help our son recover. They answered every question we had and explained the entire process. They went above and beyond for our son and truly cared about him. I never thought I would be in a situation where I needed a lawyer, but I was so grateful we had them representing our son. We now don't have to worry or stress about his future medical bills and surgeries. We can focus on spending time together and giving our son the best life he can have.

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