The likelihood of winning your qui tam case depends on a number of factors that are different for every case. The factors include:
- The amount and nature of your knowledge and documentary evidence - whether you have first hand information or you have heard rumors;
- How clearly false and how clearly intentional the alleged improprieties are given the applicable laws, regulations, cases, advisory opinions and intermediary letters, and other similar materials;
- The extent of the fraud - is it local or national;
- The pervasiveness of the fraud and the amount of damages;
- Whether the company would be able to pay any damages that are due;
- Whether you, as the relator, are “pushing the envelope too far;"
- Who you are in relationship to the company committing the fraud; and
- Your motives in bringing the case.
Because the False Claims Act has a monetary reward, it openly encourages whistleblowers to come forward to expose fraud. Your financial motivation is not necessarily frowned upon, although this can be problematic if your motivation to bring a qui tam action is to use it as leverage in an employment dispute, as a weapon in a dysfunctional work environment, or for harassing purposes. The government frowns on relators’ misuse of the statute this way; furthermore, if the government declines intervention and the defendant prevails, the court may award defense costs and attorney fees if it finds the suit was filed for improper, vexatious, or harassing purposes.
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