Whistleblowers who file a lawsuit through their attorney may be entitled to a percentage of any recovery. The percentage of the reward depends on a variety of factors. Generally, whistleblowers may be entitled to up to 25% of the recovery if the US Department of Justice agrees to intervene. The recovery may be up to 30% if the DOJ declines to intervene and the relator/whistleblower pursues the claim through his/her lawyer.
There are certain bars to recovery though. One bar is that disclosures to the government of fraud can’t already be available to the Department of Justice through public disclosures.
31 U.S.C. 3730(e)(4) provides that actions or claims under the False Claims Act will be dismissed by the Government if the same substantial allegations were disclosed publicly:
- In a federal legal proceeding (civil, criminal, or administrative) in which the Government (or an agent) was a party
- In a report, hearing, investigation or audit by Congress, the Government Accountability Office, or another Federal report
- “From the news media, unless the action is brought by the Attorney General or the person bringing the action is an original source of the information.”
The law essentially defines “original source” as a person:
- Who voluntarily disclosed the information of fraud prior to the public disclosure.
- Who has knowledge of the fraud that is “independent of and materially adds to the publicly disclosed allegations” and who has voluntarily given the information to the Government before filing an action.
Our skilled lawyers can explain whether your allegations meet or don’t meet the public disclosure prohibition. For example, we’ll explain what information is considered part of the “news media.” Most print and online communications are considered part of the news media but there are factors to be considered such as whether online communications must be accessible to the public to be considered part of the news media.
The California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates has extensive experienced filing and pursing whistleblower claims under the False Claims Ac. We help you understand what disclosures should qualify and when you may need more evidence. For help with any whistleblower claim, call 877-789-9707 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment. Se habla espanol.
Keyword. National origin discrimination.