The federal False Claims Act originated during the Civil War to stop rampant war profiteering that defrauded the federal government out of millions of dollars. The act, which has been amended several times since its enactment, provides financial incentives to individuals for exposing fraud against the federal government. Specifically, the law gives “whistleblowers” the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government against the perpetrators of the fraud. If a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit (also called a qui tam suit) results in a judgment or settlement in the government’s favor, the whistleblower can receive up to 30 percent of any amounts recovered.
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