Whistleblowers in Connecticut are sometimes rewarded if the government is able to recover funds lost to fraud. One way this is done is with what’s referred to as a qui tam lawsuit, which is brought under the False Claims Act. Cases of this nature can be an effective way for the government stop various types of fraud. The individual who initiated the action receives a portion of damages, penalties, and awards that come from the government’s litigation efforts.
A defendant found liable in a fraud action pursued by the government must pay three-times the government’s monetary damages. If a defendant fully cooperates, this amount is reduced to twice the amount of the government’s monetary losses. Additional penalties are also set by the court. With successful qui tam actions, the person who initiated the suit receives no more than 10 percent of the penalty and damage award if the action resulted from public information or testimony.
The award will be between 15 and 25 percent of what the government receives if the suit was pursued by the government without public information. The exact percentage is based on a whistleblower’s level of participation. But if the government does not participate in the action, the percentage of the informant’s portion of the award can be between 25 and 30 percent of the total award. However, if the individual who initiated the qui tam action is also the person responsible for the fraud, the court typically reduces their share of the award.
Successful qui tam actions can be rewarding for informants. Still, there are important legal steps individuals looking to share information with the government need to take. A whistleblower attorney might provide advice to informants wishing to cooperate with an ongoing investigation.