In Massachusetts, private citizens are incentivized and protected by both the federal False Claims Act as well as the Massachusetts False Claims Act to report corporations who seek to defraud the government or its agencies. If you have private information regarding corporate fraud and your tip leads to the government successfully recovering defrauded, stolen, or owed funds, you may be eligible to receive a significant financial award for your bravery.
These individuals who help expose deceitful businesses and organizations are known as whistleblowers, or qui tam relators. They are crucial in helping state and U.S. governments fight fraud, expose bad actors, and protect taxpayer dollars that go to fund government agencies.
If you have private information regarding a business defrauding the government, contact the MA qui tam attorneys of Tycko & Zavareei LLP today for a free, confidential legal consultation.
What are Common Examples of Fraud in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts and everywhere else in the United States, an individual or company who attempts to or succeeds at defrauding the government in order to obtain unwarranted funds is violating the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA, otherwise known as the Lincoln Law, was established by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War as a strategy to combat rampant government contractor fraud taking place during wartime. Still today, the FCA is one of the main ways that the government seeks to address corporate fraud and illegal business practices.
Common examples of fraud as defined by the FCA include:
- Government contractor fraud, including in the fields of defense, construction, and more.
- Healthcare fraud, including Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
- Pharmaceutical fraud, including off-label marketing and attempts to increase or inflate drug pricing
- Securities, commodities, and banking fraud
Types of fraudulent actions that businesses might commit can include but are by no means limited to:
- Deceptive charging and billing for services rendered, or billing for services that were not provided, delivered, or were substandard
- Creating and submitting false records, invoices, and documents
- The practices of bribery and giving and receiving kickbacks
- Deceptive marketing practices
- Providing false information when applying for government programs
- Submitting false documents to and underpaying the IRS
What is Qui Tam Law?
A qui tam lawsuit is a legal action taken by a private citizen in the name of the U.S. government against a company committing fraud. The FCA contains a provision known as the qui tam provision that allows individuals to bring lawsuits against businesses that defraud the government, even if the business has not caused them personal harm.
Under the qui tam provision, qui tam relators who bring successful qui tam actions are rewarded with a percentage of the total funds that are recovered in the suit. In whistleblower cases in which the government agrees to intervene, the financial compensation awarded to the whistleblower can be significant, sometimes reaching millions of billions. At Tycko & Zavareei LLP, our qui tam lawyers have helped to secure numerous whistleblowers multi-million dollar financial rewards.
What is the Massachusetts False Claims Act?
In addition to incentives and protections provided by the federal FCA, Massachusetts whistleblowers are also able to bring qui tam actions against organizations that defraud the state government or for violations of state laws. In general, the MA False Claims Act covers almost all of the same types of fraud on the state level as the FCA does on the federal level, except for tax fraud.
How Are Massachusetts Whistleblowers Protected?
MA qui tam relators who come forward with inside information regarding corporate fraud against the government are protected from employer retaliation by both the federal FCA and the Massachusetts False Claims Act. Both the state and the federal FCA protect whistleblowers who come forward regarding their employer’s fraudulent actions. Forms of retaliation banned under these whistleblower protection laws include withholding pay or benefits, suspension, demotion, termination, harassment, or any other discrimination directed at an employee as a result of their actions as a whistleblower.
Whistleblowers who do experience employer retaliation have the right to sue the wrongdoer for damages, including reinstatement, back pay, and attorney’s fees. If you have experienced retaliation after becoming a whistleblower, contact the whistleblower lawyers of Tycko & Zavareei LLP to discuss your options for legal remedy.
Are Massachusetts Whistleblowers Rewarded?
In Massachusetts, whistleblowers with valuable inside information regarding a business defrauding either the state or federal government could potentially receive a financial award.
If you have proof of a business defrauding the federal government or its agencies and your qui tam lawsuit leads to the successful recovery of taxpayer funds, you could be eligible to receive a significant financial reward of between 15 and 30 percent of the total funds that are recovered from the case. Likewise, if you have a successful Massachusetts whistleblower claim providing proof of corporate fraud against the state government, you may be eligible to receive 15 to 30 percent of all the funds that are recouped.
Contact a MA Qui Tam Attorney
At Tycko & Zavareei LLP, our team of qui tam attorneys is comprised of former Department of Justice prosecutors and nationally recognized private practice whistleblower law leaders who are passionate about helping whistleblowers shed light on fraudulent and deceptive business practices. Our whistleblower lawyers have represented qui tam relators across 30 states and have aided in the recovery of over $7 billion in defrauded funds.
If you have proof or inside knowledge of an individual or organization committing fraud against the federal government or the Massachusetts state government, you may be eligible to receive a financial reward for your contributions as a whistleblower. Contact the dedicated MA qui tam attorneys of Tycko & Zavareei LLP today to set up a confidential qui tam case evaluation at no cost to you.