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In common law, a writ of qui tam is a writ where a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed. Its name is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase meaning he who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.
The writ fell into disuse in England and Wales following the Common Informers Act of 1951. However, as of 2010, it remains current in the United States under the False Claims Act which allows a private individual, or whistleblower, with knowledge of past or present fraud committed against the federal government, to bring suit on its behalf.
There are also qui tam provisions regarding arming vessels against friendly nations, regarding violating Indian protection laws, regarding the removal of undersea treasure from the Florida coast to foreign nations, and regarding false marking. In February of 2011, the qui tam provision regarding false marking was held to be unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court. In September of that year the enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act removed qui tam remedies.
The False Claims Act benefits whistleblowers whose qui tam lawsuits recover government funds and provides job protection to whistleblowers because of the risks they take to expose and stop fraud against the government.
Qui tam lawsuits are a type of civil lawsuit whistleblowers bring under the False Claims Act which is a law that rewards whistleblowers if their qui tam cases recover funds for the government. Qui tam cases are a great way for whistleblowers to help the government stop many kinds of fraud and recover billions that have been stolen from the U.S. Treasury and taxpayers.
Call us today for a consultation to better understand how Malyszek & Malyszek handles whistleblower cases.