An Introduction to Whistleblower/Qui Tam Claims
By Shauna Itri
Shauna Itri represents whistleblowers in cases involving fraud against the government and with claims brought under the SEC and IRS whistleblower reward programs. Ms. Itri has successfully represented whistleblowers in qui tam or False Claims Act law suits in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including series of cases against large drug companies for fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid drug pricing. This litigation has returned well over $1 billion to state and federal governments.
A whistleblower or qui tam action can provide financial rewards to individuals who suffer retaliation for providing information that a company or an individual has defrauded the government. The primary statutes are the federal and state False Claims Acts ("FCAs"), including California False Claims Act, Ca. Gov’t Code §§ 12650-12656. The FCAs are not specific to any particular type of fraud, but there are federal statutes that apply specifically to tax fraud and securities fraud. This Article briefly summarizes the statutes and types of fraud that can be pursued under these laws.
I. FEDERAL AND STATE FALSE CLAIMS ACTS