WNN Webinar Series
The False Claims Act: History and Usage, Told By Those Who Know It Best
March 2nd marks the 158th Anniversary of President Lincoln’s signing the False Claims Act into law. In commemoration of this, Whistleblower Network News and the National Whistleblower Center will host a free webinar on the law’s history and impact. Experts will tell the story of how the 1986 amendments turned the FCA into America’s most important tool to uncover and punish fraud.
The FCA is the oldest and most powerful whistleblower law in the world. It protects money spent by the federal government against corruption and misuse. Since the inclusion of the qui tam provision in 1986, fraud detection and prevention have risen exponentially. The FCA has long served as a powerful weapon against fraud and waste in government programs.
REGISTER FOR WEBINAR
Registration for this webinar is closed! You can watch the live webinar by clicking play to the left.
When: Tuesday, March 2, 2021
When: 11 am EST
Cost: Free to all. Registration required.
Kris Kolesnik is a 34-year veteran of federal government oversight. He spent 19 years as senior counselor and director of investigations for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Kolesnik then became executive director of the National Whistleblower Center. Finally, he spent 10 years working with the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General as the associate inspector general for external affairs.
Kolesnik will be interviewed by FBI whistleblower Jane Turner. Turner has been a constant advocate for whistleblower rights since she exposed FBI mismanagement.
Stephen M. Kohn, a founding partner of the qui tam whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, will introduce the event and give historical background.
John Kostyack, the Executive Director of the NWC, will close the program, detailing the National Whistleblower Center’s ongoing commitment to protect the FCA against the corporate lobby’s continued attacks.
The webinar is co-sponsored by Whistleblower Network News, an independent online newspaper providing readers with up-to-date information on whistleblowing, and the National Whistleblower Center, the leading whistleblower education and advocacy nonprofit. This is the first in a series of free webinars on key whistleblower protection laws.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the False Claims Act?
The qui tam provision of the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), or “Lincoln Law,” empowers whistleblowers (also known as a qui tam relator) who have firsthand knowledge of frauds or violations against the government to report them to the appropriate officials.
What Constitutes a Violation of the False Claims Act?
Government contracting fraud misuses taxpayer money and can put lives at risk. The most common types of government contracting fraud include illegal billing schemes and over-billing, the substitution of inferior equipment, and lack of quality control.
What is the reward for blowing the whistle?
A False Claims Act whistleblower can receive a whistleblower reward of between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery the U.S. gets from the defendant. The other award programs offer between 10 and 30 percent, depending on the sanction amount.
How Did Congress Use Qui Tam To Promote Whistleblowing?
At the time of the American Revolution and up through the Civil war, the United States enacted multiple qui tam statutes to assist the government in enforcing the law.
In 1863, Senator Jacob Howard explained why he was introducing a qui tam reward provision in the original False Claims Act, “the bill offers… a reward to the informant who comes into court and betrays his co-conspirator, if he be such, but it is not confined to that class…I have based the (False Claims Act) upon the old-fashioned idea of holding out a temptation, and ‘setting a rogue to catch a rogue,’ which is the safest and most expeditious way I have ever discovered of bringing rogues to justice.”
Where Can I Find A Copy Of The False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act, linked here, is codified as 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-33. Section 3729 sets forth anti-fraud requirements of the Act, and Section 3730 includes the provisions related to filing a qui tam lawsuit.
Does The False Claims Act Protect Whistleblowers?
Yes. Under Section 3730(h) of the False Claims Act, any employee who is discharged, demoted, harassed, or otherwise retaliated against for taking actions to promote the purposes behind the False Claims Act can file an employment discrimination claim in federal court. This action can be filed as part of a qui tam reward case or filed as a stand-alone cause of action. The law provides for a jury trial and full “make whole” relief, including reinstatement, double back pay, and compensation for any special damages, including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Read The New Whistleblower Handbook
It is absolutely essential for whistleblowers to know their rights. The New Whistleblower’s Handbook is the first-ever guide to whistleblowing, by the nation’s leading whistleblower attorney. The Handbook is an easy to read step-by-step guide to the essential tools for successfully blowing the whistle, qualifying for financial rewards, and protecting yourself.