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.