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Do I Have a Case?

One of the most effective ways to fight fraud is to file a False Claims Act case. The government takes False Claims Act allegations seriously, and the damages and penalties under the False Claims Act are substantial. For instance, the False Claims Act provides for triple damages, as well as civil fine of $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim and attorney’s fees for the plaintiff.

false claims act

In order to assess whether you may have a False Claims Act case, you should consider and discuss some of the following questions:

  1. Did the wrongful conduct cause a governmental entity to lose money?  The purpose of the False Claims Act is to help the government recover money it should have never paid, money that it overpaid, or money that was wrongfully withheld from the government.  If the wrongful conduct does not involve the government, you do not have a claim under the False Claims Act.

  2. Do you have important information about the wrongful conduct?  The False Claims Act is designed to encourage people to report fraud that might otherwise go undetected.  It is not designed to reward people who repeat allegations that have already been publicized. If the information you have has not been publicized, you may have a case. If the information you have has been publicized – in a newspaper, for example – you must have information that is independent of, and materially adds to the information that has been publicized. 

  3. Do you have reliable information about the wrongful conduct? The most successful whistleblowers are able to verify the wrongful conduct they are reporting, either because they saw it happen, or because they had access to documents that can prove it. The False Claims Act does not reward cases based on pure speculation.

  4. How long ago did the conduct take place? In most cases, a lawsuit under the False Claims Act must be filed within six years of when the wrongful conduct took place, although in certain cases you might have up to ten years.

false claims act conduct timing

Attorneys at Law

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Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312-863-7222
Fax: 312.332.2196