At the 2023 Qui Tam Conference hosted by the Federal Bar Association, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) celebrated whistleblowers and talked about the False Claims Act’s success in a keynote address.
Grassley is a longtime supporter of whistleblowers and was a driving force behind 1986 amendments that modernized the False Claims Act. He began his pre-recorded speech by recognizing that this year is the 160th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the False Claims Act in 1863. Grassley called the False Claims Act the “government’s most powerful tool in fighting and deterring fraud” and throughout his speech pointed to the amount of money that the Act has recovered for taxpayers.
“As we all know, the key to the success of the False Claims Act is that it allows whistleblowers to stand in the shoes of the federal government, and then sue fraudsters,” Grassley told the audience.The Qui Tam provisions of the False Claims Act enable private citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the government if they know of an individual or company defrauding the government. Qui Tam whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 15 and 30% of the government’s recovery, if one occurs.
Grassley mentioned his role in enacting the 1986 amendments and voiced concerns about how the Act is “constantly under attack” from certain interpretations in the courts. He also highlighted the DOJ’s data from Fiscal Year 2022, which revealed that whistleblower lawsuits led to over $1.9 billion in recoveries, and Qui Tam whistleblowers won a combined total of $448 million,” according to WNN .
The False Claims Act is the most powerful tool the government has to combat fraud, but it’s the brave whistleblowers – let me emphasize – the brave whistleblowers who make the law successful,” Grassley asserted. “Whistleblowers are the government’s eyes and ears in uncovering and deterring fraud. Without you whistleblowers, the False Claims Act would simply not work.” He thanked the listeners for continued support of the Act and gave special thanks to whistleblowers across the U.S.
After his speech, there was a pre-recorded question and answer section, in which Grassley talked about amendments to the False Claims Act that were being considered, how his work on the Act ranks with his other achievements, and the goals of the False Claims Act. “The False Claims Act to recover money lost to fraud and deter fraud at the same time,” he remarked.
During this time, he also talked about all the recoveries that Qui Tam whistleblowers have made over the years. Grassley ends the video by saying the purpose for the updates to the FCA are to empower whistleblowers. To bring fraud to the forefront. Grassley also said he “has to be proud of his work to champion and protect whistleblowers who risk their livelihoods and their reputations for just telling the truth.”