The New York State False Claims Act is a law which empowers people with evidence of fraud against the Government to file a complaint to recover triple the amount which has been defrauded from the Government, and to receive a monetary reward for doing so.
The law applies to cases where someone has committed a fraud against:
As compensation for their efforts, a person who files such a complaint, (known as the “relator”) can receive a monetary award, typically between 15% and 30% percent of the total amounts recovered by, or for, the Government.
The term “qui tam” stands for a longer Latin phrase [qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequiter] that is translated as “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.” Qui tam is the technical legal term for the legal principal which allows individuals who have evidence of fraud to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the Government.
Virtually any situation within which the Government is dispensing money, or collecting money, can give rise to a False Claims Act violation. Activities which constitute a violation under the False Claims Act are:
In short, it is only the filing of a qui tam lawsuit and subsequent settlement or favorable judgment which enable a private party to receive a recovery under The False Claims Act
There is no limit upon the actual dollar amount which can be awarded to a relator.
The highest reward paid under the Federal False Claims Act, upon which the New York State False Claims Act was modeled, was over one fifty hundred million ($150,000,000.00) dollars.
The person who files the complaint, known as the “relator” typically receives between 15% and 30% of the total recovery from the defendant, whether through a favorable judgment or settlement.
If a person brings a qui tam action, and the Government chooses to intervene by taking over the lawsuit, the relator generally is eligible to receive between 15% and 25% of the recovery.
If a person brings a qui tam action and the Government chooses not to intervene, the relator can proceed without the government and can receive between 25% and 30% of the recovery.
Violators of the False Claims Act are liable for three (3) times the amount of damages the Government sustained as a result of the fraud, plus civil penalties between $6,000 and $12,000 for each violation.
Virtually anyone who receives money from the Government, pays money to the Government, or helps someone else get money from the Government, can engage in conduct which would make them liable for a violation of the False Claims Act.
Common examples of defendants in qui tam actions, include the following:
Individuals and Businesses: Virtually any individual or business who does business with the Government, sells something to the Government, or any agency or branch thereof, can be a defendant in a complaint under the False Claims Act.
Government Contractors and Subcontractors: Anyone who contracts to provide services or goods to the Government can be a defendant for a vast array of complaints.
Under the False Claims Act, a complaint must be filed within the later of two time periods:
Please Note - if, before you file, someone else files a False Claims Act complaint or helps publicize allegations similar to yours, you may lose your right to file a complaint.
If you choose to retain the services of Campanelli & Associates, P.C., and we agree to take your case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis.
This means that you pay no out-of-pocket legal fees.
We get paid if, and only if, your claim results in a monetary award or settlement, from which we get a percentage for our fees.
The time from the filing of a complaint until its resolution can vary greatly from case to case, and can range from months to years.
As a general rule, you do not give up your right to file a complaint by going to the Government before filing your complaint.
However, no person can file a complaint to expose allegations which are already the subject of any pending criminal or civil action or proceeding, or any administrative action within which the Government is already a party.
It is possible, but unlikely, that you will be able to keep your identity a secret if you file a complaint under the Act.
Yes. Under the False Claims Act, any employee who is discharged, demoted, harassed or otherwise discriminated against because of lawful acts of the employee in furtherance or an action under the Act is entitled to receive all relief necessary to make the employee whole.
Such relief may include reinstatement with full benefits and seniority, double back pay plus interest, plus additional compensation for any special damages including litigation costs and attorneys fees.
No. There is a separate Federal False Claims Act which covers frauds against the Federal Government. To learn about exposing fraud against the Federal Government go to FederalFraud.com, or call Campanelli & Associates, P.C. at (516) 746-1600
Yes. But there is also a separate New York City False Claims Act which may be applied. To learn about exposing fraud against the City of New York, go to NewYorkCityFraud.com, or call Campanelli & Associates, P.C. at (516) 746-1600.
To obtain more information, contact:
Andrew J. Campanelli
For information about actual cases, go to the NEWS section