Whistleblower laws are put in place for the protection and assistance of those who attempt to fight back against the massive fraud problems that the government deals with on an annual basis. Qui tam, as a body of law, follows a fairly standard procedure once the process begins, which largely depends on whether or not the government stands behind the suitor or not. As the government does not always become involved, this decision does not necessarily save or doom a suit, which can still be argued on proper merits regardless of the Department of Justice’s intervention.
The first step in drawing the federal government into a case is to place the contents of the case under seal. This closes the details of the case from being shared openly, which, unless appropriately dealt with, can occasionally create problems with open disclosure policies of the Securities and Exchanges Commission. However, these issues can generally be resolved with the proper protocol.
The federal government has the right to make a decision within 60 days, although additional time may be allotted through the court. During this period, the Department of Justice considers the details of the case and determines whether or not a case would be beneficial. If they decide to take the case, there are two major options left, which are up to the government’s discretion.
As many qui tam suitors aim for, one of these options is to see the case through until the end. This involves a full government-run investigation, and concludes with major penalties against the company or individuals at fault and a notable reward for the original whistleblower. On the other hand, the government may return some of their lost funds by settling outside of court.
To learn more about a whistleblower’s roll in this process, contact a qui tam attorney.
If you have information regarding fraudulent actions against the government, contact the whistleblower attorneys