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Fraud Against the Government

Fraud against the government is nothing new. In the colonial days, there were essentially no officers to enforce federal laws. Consequently, the government embraced the British concept of "qui tam," which is a kind of whistleblower law that enables a private citizen to bring a lawsuit on the government's behalf.

If you have knowledge of fraud against the government, you should consult with a whistleblower attorney to learn more about your rights as a whistleblower.

Whistleblowers Can Help

When the U.S. government is being defrauded by a company, organization, or individual, a person who becomes aware of the fraud can "blow the whistle," alerting the federal government of the fraud. Such an individual is known as a "whistleblower," and he or she has the right under the federal False Claims Act to bring a civil lawsuit on the federal government's behalf against the perpetrator of the fraud.

Although whistleblowers are more commonly associated with scandals in private companies (the WorldCom and Enron whistleblowers exposed some of the most famous examples of fraud scandals), whistleblowers may also help in cases of fraud against the government. And when they do, they may be compensated for their efforts.

Under the False Claims Act, an individual who exposes fraud against the government by filing a lawsuit on the government's behalf may be entitled to a portion—between 15 and 25 percent—of any recovered monies.

Fraud Against the Government is Prevalent

The government has been scammed many, many times, particularly by defense contractors. The huge increase in defense spending during President Reagan's administration brought about reports of the U.S. military paying $300 for a single hammer and $500 each for toilet seats.

This type of fraud against the government was attacked by stepped-up provisions of the False Claims Act during the 1980s, but fraudsters still manage to find ways to exploit the U.S. government.

Common Cases of Fraud Against the Government

The U.S. government is especially susceptible to the following types of fraud:

  • Contractor fraud
  • Medicare/Medicaid fraud
  • Grant fraud, including grants for education and conservation programs
  • Construction and shipbuilding fraud
  • Energy and/or utilities fraud
  • Fraud involving government entities such as the U.S. postal service, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and others

Contact a Law Firm that Represents Whistleblowers

If you have observed or know of a fraud against the government, you can get help from a law firm with experience in representing whistleblowers. This is a rather specialized field of law, and it's a good idea to have qualified counsel on your side. Contact a whistleblowers lawyer today and arrange a private, confidential consultation.

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