Is this law new?
No. This is one of the oldest federal laws on the books today. The Federal False Claims Act, also known as the “Lincoln Law,” dates back to the Civil War. President Lincoln signed the False Claims Act into law in 1863 to deal with war profiteers who sold the Union Army shoddy supplies at inflated prices.
What does “qui tam” mean?
The term “qui tam” stands for a longer Latin phrase that translates to “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.” Lawyers sometimes refer to the False Claims Act and whistleblower lawsuits as qui tam law. This means is a lawsuit is initiated by a private person on behalf of the government (the “King”) as well as for the person’s own reward.
There are a number of pronunciations of qui tam. We usually say “whistleblower.”
What is a relator?
Some refer to the person who files a lawsuit (the plaintiff) under the False Claims Act a “Relator.” This person is also referred to as a whistleblower or a “qui tam plaintiff.”
Other types of fraud
False Statements of Contract Compliance:
Violations of important contract terms or statutes and regulations that are required by Government contracts may be violations of the False Claims Act. If federal funding has been received and important contract provisions have not been followed, this may result in a False Claims Act case. Remember that the law might be violated even though other parts of the contract have been fulfilled. False Statements of Contract Compliance may include one or more of the following:
- Anti-Kickback Act.
- Buy American Act.
- Trade Agreements Act.
- Walsh-Healy and Service Contract Acts.
- Environmental protection laws.
- AA/EEO equal employment opportunity.
- Small business procurement requirements.
- Competitive bidding laws (FAR).
- Truth In Negotiations Act (TINA) which requires certification of relevant cost information.
Procurement fraud may include one or more of the following:
- Delivering goods of inferior quality or goods that violate inspection, testing, or other technical requirements.
- Charging the Government higher labor rates than those agreed to in the contract.
- Misrepresenting indirect and overhead labor charges as direct labor.
- Collusive bidding schemes where bidders conspire to fix prices.