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FEDERAL FALSE CLAIMS ACT

Every year, billions of dollars are taken from the U.S. government through fraud. The False Claims Act (FCA) is designed to punish those who knowingly submit false claims for payment of government funds. Under the FCA, parties guilty of federal fraud (not including tax fraud) are liable to pay triple the government’s damages and are often made to pay civil penalties ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim.

Using the False Claims Act, Mark Schlein recovered billions from the corporate offenders on the state and federal level. Mark directed a staff of 143, including 14 assistant attorney generals and over 90 sworn criminal investigators.

The False Claims Act, also called the Whistleblower Act or the Qui Tam Act, encourages citizens to bring forward evidence of fraud against the government and sue on the government’s behalf. When a qui tam lawsuit is filed by a citizen, that citizen is called a whistleblower or “relator.”

Under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, when the government joins a qui tam case, the relator is entitled to a reward of 15 percent to 25 percent of the recovered amount. If the government does not join the qui tam lawsuit, the whistleblower can receive a reward of 25 percent to 30 percent of a successful recovery.

Certain states allow whistleblowers to file qui tam lawsuits against companies and individuals cheating the state if the fraud involves Medicaid funds, other state healthcare funds, or money from state or local agencies. Some states don’t allow a whistleblower to file a qui tam action, but they will still reward whistleblowers for providing information that leads to the recovery of state funds.

"No legacy is so rich as honesty." William Shakespeare