Difference between revisions of "False Claims Act"

2,692 bytes added ,  23:51, 19 November 2021
Line 54: Line 54:
*To bar later-filed qui tam actions, the allegedly first-filed qui tam complaint must not itself be jurisdictionally or otherwise barred, e.g., if the first-filed complaint fails to [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/sp_faq/heightened-pleading-requirement-false-claims-act-qui-tam-cases/ plead fraud with particularity, as required by Rule 9(b)].
*To bar later-filed qui tam actions, the allegedly first-filed qui tam complaint must not itself be jurisdictionally or otherwise barred, e.g., if the first-filed complaint fails to [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/sp_faq/heightened-pleading-requirement-false-claims-act-qui-tam-cases/ plead fraud with particularity, as required by Rule 9(b)].
*The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the appropriate reference point for a first-to-file analysis is the set of facts in existence at the time that the FCA action under review is commenced. Facts that may arise after the commencement of a relator’s action, such as the dismissals of earlier-filed, related actions pending at the time the relator brought his or her action, do not factor into this analysis.
*The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the appropriate reference point for a first-to-file analysis is the set of facts in existence at the time that the FCA action under review is commenced. Facts that may arise after the commencement of a relator’s action, such as the dismissals of earlier-filed, related actions pending at the time the relator brought his or her action, do not factor into this analysis.
='''Filing a False Claims Act Qui Tam Case Under Seal'''=
The [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/false-claims-act-resources-corporate-whistleblowers/ '''False Claims Act'''] requires that a qui tam action must be filed under seal and remain seal for at least 60 days. This procedure enables the government to investigate the matter, so that it may decide whether to take over the relator’s action or to instead allow the relator to litigate the action in the government’s place.  The purpose of the seal provision is to avoid alerting defendants to a pending federal criminal investigation. ''State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. US'', 137 S. Ct. 436 (2016).
The “sealing period, in conjunction with the requirement that the government, but not the defendants, be served, was ‘intended to allow the Government an adequate opportunity to fully evaluate the private enforcement suit and determine both if that suit involves matters the Government is already investigating and whether it is in the Government’s interest to intervene and take over the civil action.”  ''United States ex rel. Pilon v. Martin Marietta Corporation'', 60 F.3d 995, 998-99 (quoting S. Rep. No. 345, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. 24, reprinted in 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5266, 5289).
'''Failure to file under seal could potentially jeopardize a relator’s ability recover a whistleblower bounty,''' but the False Claims Act does not require automatic dismissal for a seal violation.
[https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/false-claims-act-whistleblower-retaliation-lawyer/ A False Claims Act retaliation claim] can also be filed under seal (in conjunction with a qui tam action).
To initiate a [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/sp_faq/qui-tam-lawsuit/ '''False Claims Act qui tam action,'''] the relator (whistleblower) must serve a copy of the qui tam complaint along with a “written disclosure of substantially all material evidence and information the [relator] possesses” on the Government. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2).  The complaint remains under seal for at least 60 days, and shall not be served on the defendant.  During this 60-day period, the Government is charged with investigating the allegations and “may, for good cause shown, move the court for extensions of the time during which the complaint remains under seal.” 31 U.S.C. §§ 3730(b)(2), (3).
Before the 60-day period (or any extensions obtained) expire, the Government shall either “(A) proceed with the action, in which case the action shall be conducted by the Government; or (B) notify the court that it declines to take over the action, in which case the person bringing the action shall have the right to conduct the action.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(4).


='''False Claims Act Fraud Violations'''=
='''False Claims Act Fraud Violations'''=