Civil false claims, also known as "qui tam actions," have been around in the federal court system since the time of the Civil War. However, more recently, states such as California have enacted their own state false claims statutes with even more teeth than their federal counterparts. False claim lawsuits allow a "whistleblower" to bring a claim on behalf of a federal, state, or local agency (or combination thereof) that has been victimized by a fraud.
We have been on the leading edge of false claim litigation, particularly under the California False Claims Statute. For example, we successfully co-prosecuted a case more than 20 years ago against environmental consultants and property owners involved in committing fraud against the State's Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund. Through the efforts of our client, the State was able to recover more than twice the amount wrongfully obtained by the agency, and our client recovered a handsome reward (along with payment of his attorney's fees in the process!). We handled a similar case more than a decade ago against an oil company that committed similar violations involving the same fund.
Separately, our firm has brought federal and state false claims cases without intervention of the Attorney General's office, and successfully achieved settlements and substantial rewards for our clients. Given our breadth of experience in this relatively unknown area of law, we also can help companies facing these types of claims by giving them clear, practical and educated advice.
If you are aware of a false claim, resulting in funds being obtained from a federal, state or local agency, contact us for a free, no-obligation evaluation. In addition to our own in-house resources, we regularly associate with local, state and national law firms in pursuing false claim cases in federal and state court.