The False Claims Act or Lincoln Act is a federal law that allows a private individual or “whistleblower” with knowledge of past or present fraud on the federal government to sue a company on behalf of the government.  If the suit is successful, the whistleblower is eligible to receive as much as 30 percent of the government’s recovery.

The False Claims Act originated during the Civil War. It is also known as “Qui Tam” a shortened version of the Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro seipse” which translates to “he who sues for the king as for himself.”

The False Claims Act originally targeted suppliers who tried to cheat the Union Army by selling the military sick horses, faulty ammunition, and rancid food.  Over the years, the False Claims Act has been modified and today it covers any false claim against the government, including:

  • Securing a government contract through bribes or kickbacks
  • Securing a government contract by violating the law
  • Securing a government contract through misrepresentation of any type
  • Falsely certifying compliance with government rules, guidelines or requirements
  • Falsifying, misreporting, or failing to report research data and test results on product quality, safety or efficacy
  • Selling or marketing drugs for off-label uses that have not been approved by the FDA
  • Failure to comply with Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement requirements
  • Billing the government for unapproved, unlicensed, or expired drugs
  • Billing the government for brand name products when generic products were provided
  • Billing the government using multiple billing codes when only one billing code is appropriate
  • Billing the government at doctor rates for services performed by a nurse or technician
  • Billing the government for services or products that are unnecessary, were not provided, or were not requested
  • Billing the government for services or products that are misrepresented, mislabeled or defective

The False Claims Act also forbids an employer from retaliating against an employee who files a whistleblower action. If retaliation does occur, the employee may be awarded twice his back pay and legal costs.

Do you have questions about a whistleblower action or your rights under the False Claims Act? Contact the Tennessee whistleblower action attorneys at Bailey & Greer at 901-680-9777 and ask to schedule a free consultation.

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