False Claims

“There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the Government. ”
--Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

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What is the “False Claims Act?”

“False Claims” are fraudulent financial claims against the United States government. The False Claims Act is an act by which the U.S. Federal Government controls and punishes the waste of taxpayer funds by Government vendors or contractors. President Abraham Lincoln urged Congress to pass the False Claims Act in 1863 to empower patriotic Americans to assist the government in the fight against dishonest government contractors. Most of these contractors were fleecing the Union Army during the Civil War, providing faulty supplies and materials to the war effort for their own financial gain.

In 1986, the federal government enacted amendments to the False Claims Act. These amendments strengthened the False Claims Act by allowing U.S. citizens who assist the government in the recovery of misappropriated or ill-gotten public funds to share in that financial recovery. This encourages private citizens to take an active role in policing government spending and ultimately lowers the government’s costs of doing business. Citizens or organizations that bring suits under the False Claims Act are often referred to as “whistleblowers.” The amendments of 1986 gave whistleblowers special rights of protection in exposing fraud and abuse. For example, the amendments provided protections designed to help prevent retaliation against an employee by an offending employer in a False Claims case. More about Whistleblower Rights>>

False Claims lawsuits are also referred to as “Qui Tam” cases. “Qui Tam” is a Latin phrase that has its origins in English law centuries ago. In Latin, the phrase “Qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso” means “He who sues on behalf of the king sues also for himself.” In an age before organized law enforcement, Qui Tam laws encouraged the king’s subjects to assist with keeping the kingdom from going bankrupt by helping to facilitate an honest business environment.

For more about the False Claims Act and Qui Tam, please see the links below:

If you have questions about the False Claims Act, or if you or someone you know has knowledge of financial fraud or abuse of the Federal Government, please contact The Schofner Law Firm or call (800)-891-9996.