Rewards for Qui Tam Cases
In order to motivate individuals with knowledge of fraud to come forward, the False Claims Act rewards the relator with a share of whatever monies are recovered by the government in the action.
The precise size of the relator’s reward is influenced by several factors:
- If the government joins and successfully prosecutes the case, the relator can receive between 15 and 25 percent, depending on the extent of the relator’s contribution to the case.
- If the government does not join and the relator successfully prosecutes the case, the relator will receive between 25 and 30 percent of the proceeds.
- In addition to receiving a percentage of the award, the False Claims Act also provides that the relator will be reimbursed for expenses incurred, including attorney fees and costs, providing the action successfully recovers damages.
These provisions presume the relator is innocent of wrongdoing in the fraud. If it is determined the relator was involved in the wrongdoing, the court can reduce the relator’s share at its discretion depending on the extent of the relator’s misconduct. Further, if the relator is convicted of criminal conduct in the fraud, the court will dismiss the relator out of the action entirely and deny any share of monies recovered.
The reward for a relator can be substantial. Relators’ awards in cases where the government participated to date exceed $750 million (an average of 16 percent of monies recovered). In cases where the government did not participate and the relator prosecuted the case on his or her own, relators’ awards exceed $63 million (an average of 28 percent of monies recovered).
The rewards for qui tam actions can be significant. If you believe you are entitled to monies for blowing the whistle on fraud against the U.S. government, you will need the help of experienced attorneys.