A qui tam lawsuit allows an individual, called the relator or whistleblower, to bring a civil lawsuit under the Federal False Claims Act or the New York State False Claims Act on behalf of the government. The purpose is to reward people for identifying crimes or fraud committed against the government. These cases are filed under seal to allow the government the opportunity to determine if they want to intervene and prosecute the case or decline the prosecution and allow the relator to pursue the case on their own. In either scenario, in a successful case, the relator is entitled to a portion of the recovery and reasonable attorney’s fees will be awarded.
If you have information regarding an ongoing corporate fraud, contacting an attorney prior to law enforcement may help assess your case, and properly direct you to the appropriate state or federal agents.