What Is A Qui Tam Relator?
In the modern context, a qui tam action is one that is filed by an individual against the perpetrator of fraud on behalf of the government.
In New Jersey and the rest of the United States, people are able to bring fraud actions against individuals and entities who have committed fraud against the government under the False Claims Act. These actions are called qui tam, which comes from a Latin phrase that means a person who brings a case for the king and for himself or herself. In the modern context, a qui tam action is one that is filed by an individual against the perpetrator of fraud on behalf of the government. The person who brings a qui tam case is called the relator. It is not necessary that the relator has experienced any personal harm. In a majority of qui tam actions, the relator has independent and direct knowledge of the fraud that has been committed against the government. The legal team at Swartz Swidler helps relators with bringing their qui tam actions and with seeking the whistleblower award that they are entitled to under the FCA.
Common types of relators
There are several common categories of people who may serve as a qui tam relator. Employees are often the people who bring actions after they have made attempts to put an end to it inside of their companies. Even if employees did nothing in order to try to stop the fraud, they may still file qui tam actions. Employees who do file actions against their employers are protected by the FCA from their employers’ retaliation.
Another type of qui tam relator is a former employee. After people lose their jobs because they attempted to end the fraud of which they had the knowledge, many file qui tam actions. Competitors of the violators are also often qui tam relators. By interacting with the companies, the competitors may gain first-hand knowledge of the violators’ submission of fraudulent claims to the government.
The final common categories of relators are contractors and subcontractors. When these individuals or companies work closely together with the companies, the contractors or subcontractors may uncover evidence of fraud against the government.
Since no relationship with the wrongdoer is required beyond knowledge, there are others who may serve as relators in addition to this list. The primary requirement is that the relators have information about which the general public does not know and which cannot be publicly accessed.
If you have information about massive fraud that has been or that is being perpetrated against the government, you may be entitled to an award of between 15 and 30 percent of any amounts that the government ultimately collects because of your qui tam lawsuit. You must be the first to report the fraud and to seek the reward, however. Contact the experienced team at Swartz Swidler for an analysis of whether or not you might have a valid qui tam case.