Qui tam claims filed under the False Claims Act allow certain employees and other interested parties to file suit against an entity that is defrauding the federal government. When qui tam claims are filed, they are filed on behalf of the federal government, even though the individual who has obtained evidence of fraud is acting practically as plaintiff. These kinds of lawsuits empower both individuals with knowledge of fraud and the government itself to hold fraudulent parties accountable and to recover compensation as a result of a successful suit.
It should be noted that these suits tend to be incredibly complex and should not be pursued without the help of an attorney experienced in these kinds of actions. Failure to consult counsel before filing can lead to retaliation, harm to your case and a host of other consequences.
Any high-running emotions related to the injustice of the fraud or the possibility of holding fraudulent parties accountable should be kept in check until you and an attorney have developed a plan of action. Though the possibility of financial recovery is significant in legitimate cases, rash decision-making could imperil this possibility.
Any individual wishing to file a Qui tam action should understand that the government may or may not join the action or choose to allow the filer to proceed in a single action. In addition, it is important to understand that some fraudulent actions perpetrated by fraudulent individuals and companies will result in protection of whistleblowers under the False Claims Act while others will not. As a result, it is again imperative that if you are thinking about filing a Qui tam claim that you first consult an attorney well-versed in this area of law for your own benefit and for the benefit of your case.
Source: National Whistleblowers Center, "False Claims Act/Qui Tam FAQ"