Gentry Locke is experienced in representing clients in whistleblower and “qui tam” litigation in a variety of contexts, drawing upon our experience in complex litigation, criminal investigations, and employment law.
This is a complex area of law. We are immensely resourceful when defending companies against these charges and the claims of retaliation that often result. In some instances, we will represent an employee or third party who has evidence of government fraud or other illegal conduct (qui tam relators).
False Claims Act Litigation
The primary focus of Gentry Locke’s Whistleblower and Qui Tam practice is the False Claims Act, or “FCA.” The FCA is the strongest weapon in the federal arsenal for recovering government funds paid based upon false claims, and represents one of the greatest legal threats to businesses today. One of the hallmarks of the FCA is its qui tam provision, which allows a private citizen whistleblower, or “relator,” to bring suit on behalf of the government. By statute, a qui tam relator may receive 10% to 30% of the government recovery.
The United States Government recovered over $38.9 billion through the FCA from 1987 to 2013, with over 70%, or $27.2 billion, coming from cases with a qui tam relator. The federal government is taking an increasingly aggressive stance in FCA litigation every year, with the number of cases and recoveries growing rapidly. In 2014 alone, the Department of Justice announced settlements and judgments totaling almost $3 billion.
Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Statutes
In the age of Enron, Bernie Madoff, and the Wall Street scandals, it comes as no surprise that the U.S. Government has sought new ways to uncover fraud. Due to the success of the FCA qui tam provision, Congress placed similar qui tam provisions in other whistleblower statutes, including Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank.
If you are a business or an individual facing government investigation, Gentry Locke’s Criminal & Governmental Investigations group represents businesses and individuals in all aspects of internal investigations and government enforcement actions. Gentry Locke’s Employment & Labor group advises businesses in all aspects of whistleblower retaliation issues and represents employers of all sizes in whistleblower retaliation litigation.
For businesses hoping to avoid issues with the FCA and other federal statutes, Gentry Locke’s Government Contracting team can assist in avoiding pitfalls in government contracting and programs.
Qui Tam Relators & Whistleblowers
If you are a potential whistleblower, Gentry Locke’s Qui Tam Relator Practice, led by John Thomas, represents whistleblowers who may have standing as qui tam relators. We have experience with claims arising out of the health care industry, defense and government contracts, and federal grant funding. In these cases, we work hand-in-hand with federal prosecutors and agencies to maximize both the recovery of taxpayer funds to the government and the whistleblower’s reward.
We encourage you to review our Whistleblower Claims and Qui Tam Practice Group attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your legal needs.