The justice department recently announced that two companies headquartered in Atlanta were among five defendants ordered to pay $14 million to settle a qui tam lawsuit. Qui tam (Latin for whistleblower) provides a mechanism for combating government fraud. In these economic times citizens are more attuned than ever to issues of fraud, waste and abuse that steal the resources of our tax dollars from their intended purposes.
Qui tam provides an avenue for someone who has information on fraud to bring suit on behalf of the government and to share in award. If you are an employee or former employee of a government or government contractor organization and you have knowledge of goods or services charged for but not received, negotiating or pricing manipulations, or other circumstances that you believe are defrauding the government you may have a basis for filing a qui tam action. Others who can initiate a qui tam action include competitors and subcontractors who have knowledge of the fraud.
If you think that you have knowledge about fraud that could result in a qui tam action your actions are very important. The essential first step is contacting an attorney who has experience in prosecuting these cases. News reports and movies have documented many cases of whistleblowers and the challenges of fighting big business and government. One ingredient in each of the stories that’s consistent is that the “whistleblower” initiates a series of events that is much more complex than they are prepared to deal with alone.
Please do not hesitate to contact Atlanta qui tam attorneys Robbins Law, PC if you think you have information that could result in a qui tam lawsuit.