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New Jersey

The experts at Tycko & Zavareei LLP have created this guide to address some of the major whistleblower laws that apply in the State of New Jersey.
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New Jersey is a major hub of economic activity, with a GDP last estimated to reach at least $753,042 million USD. Because of this, New Jersians should be on the lookout for fraud in their state.

However, it is best to discuss the specifics of your potential case with a qualified qui tam attorney. If you are able to become a New Jersey whistleblower, you may be able to receive a substantial financial payout from a settlement, as well as qualify for certain protections against employer retaliation.

Fighting Fraud in New Jersey

Understanding the New Jersey False Claims Act

The New Jersey False Claims Act is similar to the federal False Claims Act in that individual whistleblowers can bring cases on behalf of the government in order to report on fraud. In the event of a successful case, the whistleblower (also known as a qui tam relator), is eligible to receive between 15 and 30 percent of the overall recovery. The state Attorney General receives a fixed 10 percent of the proceeds, which are deposited into a secure “False Claims Prosecution Fund.” This portion is set aside for investigating and prosecuting future fraud cases in the State of New Jersey.

The New Jersey False Claims Act is relatively expansive for a state qui tam law. Health care claims, such as Medicaid fraud, inappropriate billing, EHR fraud, pharmaceutical fraud, and more can all be reported under NJ qui tam law. In addition, instances of government contractor fraud, education fraud, state grant fraud, and other kinds of state-level fraud are also reportable and actionable under the New Jersey False Claims Act. Only tax fraud is excluded from the state statute. State tax violations and misappropriations are not eligible for New Jersey False Claim qui tam reporting.

History of the New Jersey False Claims Act

The New Jersey False Claims Act was first introduced to the state senate in January 2006. It was signed into law by then-Governor Jon Corzine in 2008. The New Jersey False Claims Act was in partial response to the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. This federal initiative involved a push for the states to introduce their own localized qui tam laws in order to reduce overall Medicaid fraud costs and facilitate better balanced budgets.

New Jersey Whistleblower Rewards

In cases where the State of New Jersey intervenes to investigate alleged fraud, the whistleblower can receive anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of the overall recovery. While this may seem less desirable than the potential 25 to 30 percent available in cases where the state government does not intervene, cases with state intervention often recover higher amounts of funds than those that are filed solo. Because of this, reward amounts tend to be higher in the end. In cases with state intervention, the percentage decided upon by the court depends upon the amount that the whistleblower “substantially contributed” to the end result.

In addition, it is important to note that reward percentages may be reduced in cases where the whistleblower planned, initiated, or perpetrated the fraud in any way. Whistleblower liability may reduce, if not totally negate, the recovery percentage awarded.

Corporate Compliance with the New Jersey False Claims Act

Under the New Jersey False Claims Act, violations or false claims made to the State are liable for up to treble damages. However, in cases where violators self-report fraud or erroneous claims made to the state government, the penalty may be reduced to no less than double damages sustained by the State of New Jersey. This disclosure must be made within 30 days of when information became available to the reporting entity. The whistleblower must also fully cooperate in the investigation, and the disclosure must be made before a separate investigation into the fraud has begun.

In this way, New Jersey gives companies and individuals who discover fraud which they may be liable for an opportunity to self-report and lower the overall amount that they may be ordered to pay.

New Jersey Whistleblower Protections

New Jersey offers strong protections for whistleblowers who come forward to report on fraud that has been planned and perpetrated by their employers. Harassment, discrimination, firing, demotion, suspension, denial of promotion, or threats made against any employee who has become a whistleblower is all prohibited by the state statute.

If you have spoken up about fraud in New Jersey, you may be protected by the New Jersey False Claims Act. If so, you are eligible to bring an action in the Superior Court for relief, in which case, your New Jersey employer may be ordered to:

  • Reinstate you at the same seniority status you had before you were discriminated against
  • Compensate you with two times the amount of back pay owed as a result of your firing, demotion, or suspension
  • Pay interest on the back pay owed
  • Provide compensation for any “special damages” you may have suffered, subject to interpretation
  • Pay punitive damages
  • Reimburse your litigation costs for the qui tam lawsuit
  • Pay “reasonable attorneys’ fees” associated with your filing of the lawsuit to recover what is owed

Ask Our Qui Tam Attorneys about New Jersey Whistleblower Laws Today

If you have questions, concerns, or suspect you may be able to become a whistleblower under the aforementioned New Jersey whistleblower laws, contact the experienced qui tam lawyers of Tycko & Zavareei LLP. New Jersey fraud cases may span state and federal law. In some cases, fraud may cross state borders and involve multiple different statutes.

When your professional reputation is involved as a whistleblower, you need experts by your side. New Jersians may be able to report fraud in healthcare, defense, education, finance, environmental protection, government contracting, and more under the New Jersey False Claims Act, as well as its federal equivalent. In order to protect your best interests, preserve taxpayer funds, help the most vulnerable, avoid liability, and secure your best possible chance at receiving a reward, contact the expert qui tam firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP today. A consultation is free and confidential.

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Confidential Case Evaluation

Our experienced qui tam attorneys are available for a confidential, no-cost, no-commitment, initial evaluation of your case. Call us now at (202) 973-0900, or begin the process by completing our Confidential Case Evaluation Form.
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