What Is a Qui Tam Relator?
By Gregory Thyberg on June 13, 2022
The False Claims Act makes it possible for private citizens, acting as whistleblowers, to file lawsuits against individuals or companies that commit fraud against the federal government. These lawsuits are known as qui tam lawsuits.
A whistleblower/qui tam attorney can navigate the complexities of qui tam lawsuits and help whistleblowers, also called qui tam relators, get fairly compensated for calling out fraudulent practices.
So what is a qui tam relator? The Sacramento, CA, attorneys of Thyberg Law would like to take a moment to answer this question and explain the importance of qui tam relators.
A Qui Tam Relator Is a Type of Whistleblower
A qui tam relator is a whistleblower who files a lawsuit against someone or a company that is committing fraud against the government. In a qui tam lawsuit, the relator is considered the plaintiff and the business or party accused of fraud is considered the defendant.
A qui tam relator may be an employee or they may simply be a concerned citizen who has evidence of fraud such as:
- Government contract fraud
- Healthcare fraud (most commonly involving Medicare or Medicaid)
- Banking fraud
- Internal Revenue Services (IRS) tax fraud
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud
- Fraudulent use of other government COVID-19 relief funds
Qui Tam Relator and the False Claims Act
The False Claims Act is a federal law that allows private citizens to file lawsuits against businesses or individuals who have defrauded the government.
This type of lawsuit is referred to as a qui tam lawsuit, which derives from a Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur” which translates to “who brings the action for the king as well as himself.”
If a qui tam lawsuit is successful, the relator will receive part of the settlement. This is the government’s way of encouraging people to speak up when they become aware of fraud against the government.
Who Are Qui Tam Relators?
A qui tam relator can be anyone with first-hand knowledge and evidence of possible fraud against the government. In Sacramento this may be:
- an employee
- a subcontractor
- any concerned citizen
It is important to note that in order to be considered a qui tam relator, a lawsuit must be filed on behalf of the federal government. After the lawsuit is filed, the federal government may intervene. If the government does not want to intervene, the relator may continue to pursue the case on their own, otherwise they may dismiss the case.
The Importance of Qui Tam Relators
Qui tam relators play an important role in stopping fraud against the government. Successful qui tam lawsuits help recover defrauded funds while discouraging further fraudulent acts that may endanger the public.
To encourage the important work of qui tam relators, such whistleblowers are protected from retaliation from their employer and are given a portion of the funds recovered.
Contact Thyberg Law
If you have questions about qui tam lawsuits or need legal assistance with whistleblowing, our whistleblower and qui tam attorneys can help. Call our Sacramento law firm at (916) 204-9173 to schedule a consultation.