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Do I Have a Case?

The decision whether or not to file a whistleblower claim can be very difficult, but it is one of the most effective ways to fight fraud.

It can be hard to assess whether you have a solid claim, especially if you don't have a background in the law. That is why talking to an experienced whistleblower lawyer is the best first step to take! A lawyer with an established record of successes in whistleblower claims can walk you through the basics of the False Claims Act and help evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your specific case.  Goldberg Kohn offers an initial consultation at no charge!

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?  Many whistleblowers are current or former employees, but this is not a requirement.  Anyone who has specific knowledge of wrongdoing can be a whistleblower.  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. 31 U.S.C. § 3731(b):

A civil action under section 3730 may not be brought—

(1) more than 6 years after the date on which the violation of section 3729 is committed, or

(2) more than 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been knownby the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances, but in no event more than 10 years after the date on which the violation is committed, whichever occurs last.

Attorneys at Law

55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312-863-7222
Fax: 312.332.2196