Florida Business to Pay $325,000 to Resolve Claims In Qui Tam Lawsuit
Two Florida companies have been charged $325,000 by the federal government related to false certifications made to the Payroll Protection Program under The CARES Act. The CARES Act, also known as The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, offered funds to businesses to protect their payroll during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the federal government, the business made false certifications or lied about the number of employees they had on the payroll in order to secure a larger loan. The CARES Act allowed businesses to seek forgiveness of the loans on the condition that they spent the money on authorized expenses such as to protect their payroll. The businesses certified that they had used the money to pay payroll expenses when they actually did not. The businesses were only entitled to receive forgiveness for the loan related to the portion of the loan they used on authorized expenses.
The two businesses were related to the same individuals who operated resorts in Orlando, Florida. The settlement resolved a lawsuit that was filed under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. These types of lawsuits permit private individuals to file suit on behalf of the federal government in whistleblower claims against businesses. The private party who files the lawsuit is entitled to recover some of the damages sought by the federal government. In this article, the Tampa, FL qui tam attorneys at Florin Gray will discuss qui tam lawsuits and how they work.
What is a qui tam lawsuit?
A qui tam lawsuit is a lawsuit that is filed by a private whistleblower on the government’s behalf. Qui tam lawsuits are generally filed under the False Claims Act, which is a federal law that relates to filing false claims against government programs. The act allows whistleblowers to recover some money from claims that they blow the whistle on. The whistleblower’s reward comes from a percentage of whatever the government ultimately recovers in the lawsuit. Individuals who file qui tam lawsuits against private businesses cannot be retaliated against.
A qui tam lawsuit is one way that a whistleblower can help the federal government stop many different forms of fraud. These forms of fraud are generally related to the healthcare industry but also apply to government programs like The CARES Act that made money available to struggling businesses. These types of fraud can cost the federal government billions in dollars annually. The money is essentially stolen from the treasury.
Those who step forward to report this type of fraud are often employees of the companies that are defrauding the federal government. Since it takes a good deal of courage to blow the whistle on your employer, the federal government awards whistleblowers money for providing testimony that helps them recover funds related to the fraud.
Talk to a Tampa Qui Tam Lawyer Today
The qui tam lawyers at Florin Gray help whistleblowers file lawsuits in fraud cases involving federal funds. Call our Tampa employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can discuss your whistleblower claim right away.