The most common mistakes made by those pursing False Claims actions fall into two categories: 1) Pursuing a meritless case and 1) Making a procedural error. You should discuss with an Evansville False Claims Act attorney whether your case has merit –meaning it appears to meet all the legal requirements necessary for it to succeed. Not only must your case be actionable under the False Claims Act, but also you must properly pursue it. This article shall address some of the procedural mistakes that can ruin the chance of your case succeeding. An Evansville False Claims Act attorney can advise you regarding other procedural safeguards specific to your case.
You must file a legal action. Do not just inform the government of the fraud you are aware of. Rather, you must file a Qui Tam action under the False Claims Act in order to preserve your right to a whistleblower reward. It is in your best interest to consult an Evansville False Claims Act attorney before deciding to file an action. You will destroy your opportunity to receive your deserved whistleblower reward if you inform the government of the fraudulent actions before you file your legal action.
Don’t serve the defendant. It is extremely important not to serve the defendant with your action, or to engage in any other activity that makes the defendant aware of your activities. Your legal action will be filed “under seal,” which will allow the U.S. Justice Department time to investigate your claims and decide if it wants to intervene (or become a part of your action). During that time, neither your name, nor the basis of the investigation, will be revealed to the defendant. Be sure to talk to your Evansville False Claims Act attorney about anti-retaliatory provisions in the event that your employer figures out that you are the person who caused the investigation. The False Claims Act has specific provisions to protect you against retaliatory actions by an employer.
Don’t go public. It is very important that you only make your intentions to file a Qui Tam action under the False Claims Act known to those you can trust. This means that you must keep the matter under wraps to friends, family, co-workers, and most especially your employer, or the defendant. Typically, only the first “relator” who files a Qui Tam action is entitled the whistleblower rewards. False Claims actions may drag on for years, and it is very important that you do not harm the potential success of the prosecution and settlement of your case by impulsively or accidentally letting your actions become known.