Whistleblower Beware: You May Need to Act Quickly
You work for a company that is committing a major fraud against the Government. Maybe it’s Medicare fraud, government contracting fraud, or education fraud. Most of the people in your workplace know the fraud is happening, but nobody is doing anything about it because the company is making so much money. You know it’s not right.
What should you do?
We recommend you take the first step of calling a knowledgeable qui tam whistleblower attorney to learn your rights and help you decide what to do. Ultimately, you may decide to do nothing.
But here are the risks you face if you wait too long to take the first step:
First, you may not be the only person in your workplace who knows about the fraud, and you may not be the only person who is thinking of contacting a whistleblower lawyer. The federal False Claims Act imposes a “first to file” rule. The rule is designed to encourage people to come forward with information as soon as possible. In the real world, this means the first-filed case usually bars later-filed cases.
Suppose two whistleblowers know the exact same information. One whistleblower files a suit on Monday, and the second whistleblower files a suit on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Tuesday whistleblower might be out of luck.
Second, your company might already be under investigation by the Government. In some circumstances, a whistleblower can file a qui tam case even though the company is already under investigation, provided the whistleblower brings new or important information to the table. But if the whistleblower waits so long that the Government has already filed a pending civil, criminal, or administrative action, the whistleblower may be out of luck. The pending government case will probably bar the whistleblower claim.
Finally, even if there are no other whistleblowers and the Government has not yet filed anything, most whistleblower laws impose a statute of limitations which works as a time limit for bringing whistleblower claims. The federal False Claims Act imposes a six-year time limit for bringing claims. This means that, generally, the whistleblower can only complain about activity that has taken place six years prior to the date he or she files the whistleblower complaint.
In summary, if you believe your employer is committing a fraud against the government, you should act quickly to learn your rights from a knowledgeable qui tam whistleblower lawyer.
Call us toll-free at 877-915-4040 for a confidential and free evaluation of your case. We have assisted whistleblowers in recovering millions of dollars from companies who have cheated the Government.