Detroit Qui Tam & Federal False Claim Lawyers

The Federal False Claims Act

Under the Federal False Claims Act, a private individual or “whistleblower” with knowledge of past or present fraud perpetrated against the federal government (usually by an employer) can sue on behalf of the government to recover stiff civil penalties and damages.

The person bringing the suit is known as the “Relator.” If the suit is successful, it not only stops the dishonest conduct, but it also deters similar conduct by others in the future. Additionally, in certain cases the government may decide to step in and assist in the litigation. When successful, this may result in the Relator receiving a substantial share of the government’s recovery – as much as 25 percent of the total. And if the government decides not to intervene, the Relator may conduct the action unilaterally (with the help of experienced counsel, of course). This means that he or she would be entitled to 25 to 30 percent of the amount of any judgment or settlement reached.

Because government agencies are commonly overtaxed, sometimes the fraud goes unnoticed. When it is discovered, law enforcement and prosecutors may not have the manpower or resources to adequately and timely pursue legal action. To assist in that effort, there are specific kinds of lawsuits known as Qui Tam actions that enable private citizens to bring claims for damages and receive a percentage of any recovered funds or penalties.

There are various kinds of Qui Tam lawsuits that have been successfully litigated:

  • Health care fraud involving overbilling, risk adjustment, and unperformed services
  • Defense contractor fraud originating from cross charging, product substitution, and misallocation of costs
  • Municipal fraud arising from construction projects, financing transactions, and yield burning

We understand that many honest individuals may have reservations about reporting fraud for fear of losing their jobs. But rest assured that regardless of government intervention, the Federal False Claims Act shields the Relator from retaliation. It is illegal for an employer to harass, demote, withhold wages, fire, or retaliate in any way against a Relator who has chosen to speak to report suspected fraud. However, before you report fraud within your company, you should consult an attorney to ensure that you are fully protected.

Employers who have engaged in the following conduct may be acting in violation of the Federal False Claims Act:

  • Submitting false statements in a government loan application
  • Medicaid or Medicare Fraud
  • Over-billing the government
  • Bid Fixing
  • Stealing from employee pension funds
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Under-reporting corporate income

In addition, tax fraud may be reportable as well. At least $400 billion dollars never makes its way into the U.S. Treasury each year because of tax evasion and tax fraud.

Tax fraud is often deeply hidden in illegal tax shelters and intricate, ever-changing schemes – offshore accounts, false tax minimization and money transfer manipulation – that can be difficult and time consuming for the IRS to trace. In 2010, the IRS reported spending over $13 billion to hunt down tax criminals. Inside information from whistleblowers can be incredibly helpful. The IRS estimates that a tax fraud investigation using accurate whistleblower information is 60% less expensive than an investigation without inside information. For this reason, the IRS is eager to work with whistleblowers seeking to expose tax cheats. And a successful investigation can earn the whistleblower as much as 30 % of the IRS’s recovery.

False Claim and Qui Tam laws are complicated. For that reason, it is wise to have a law firm and attorneys experienced in these matters on your side.

Sommers Schwartz is that law firm. We represent courageous people who blow the whistle on those that commit fraud against our government agencies, fraud that costs taxpayers substantial sums each year.

If you are in possession of first-hand knowledge of fraudulent bills, wrongfully obtained funds, or other illegal financial activity that results in a state or federal government paying money to someone or a business for something they never received, you may be eligible to file a false claim case.

Contact a Sommers Schwartz attorney today to confidentially discuss your case and learn how we can help.

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:


You went above and beyond expectations.

Our business is very complex with the different manufacturers we deal with and the rebate programs associated with them, and we feel the time, effort and your timeliness in understanding the different aspects of our case helped us with a reasonable resolution.

“When I first retained Lisa, I felt like I was trusting her with my life.”

After I was injured, a family member who practices probate and trust law promised to help me find a great attorney to take my case. After doing some research, he called Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller and proceeded to have me do the same. Within a couple of weeks, I retained her for my…

Andy Dragovic is an outstanding trial attorney!

I needed representation from an attorney who was empathetic and effective. Andrija Dragovic proved to be that attorney time and time again. He was clearly dedicated to finding justice, explored my options every step of the way, and respected all my decisions regarding the case.

Bravo, Tucker!

I had a trial lawyer and judge in my office today and gave credit to you as the source of the information I provided them. They both recognized your excellence and authority and were duly impressed.

You were kind enough to listen.

When it seemed that we would not be able to get anyone to listen to us regarding the details of our accident and any potential merit to a legal case, you were kind enough to listen, and subsequently bring this matter to a positive resolution.

You are outstanding!!!

I was so impressed with your knowledge of the law and the way you were able to step back and look at all the options while explaining it to me in layman terms. I would recommend you to anyone who is or has been a victim of workplace harassment, discrimination or any other employment issue.

I am so grateful to have had Mr. Matt Curtis help me with my very tough case.

This is my first time working with an attorney and I am so grateful to have had Mr. Matt Curtis help me with my very tough case. Many well-known lawyers across the state wouldn’t take my case but Mr. Curtis gave it his all. He is a very hard worker and so driven. If it wasn’t for his dedication, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

You have become a valuable resource and trusted advisor.

You obviously took some time to understand my situation. You engaged me in meaningful conversation from the legal standpoint and presented my options, in a way that I could understand and therefore make an informed decision.

Ken Watkins and the lawyers at Sommers Schwartz did an excellent job.

Ken Watkins and the lawyers at Sommers Schwartz did an excellent job, were responsive to my emails and telephone calls, and I was very satisfied with their performance in court and the result.

Our Clients Say It Best

40 5-star reviews on Google