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Qui Tam Actions

So-called "qui tam" actions are lawsuits filed by individuals who believe that an entity (usually a private business) is defrauding the government in some way. A qui tam action lets the government recover money that was lost due to the employer's fraud, and may also give the employee a percentage of recovery as a reward for filing the suit. The term "qui tam" is based on the following Latin phrase: "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself," a reference to the monetary rewards that qui tam whistleblowers typically reap from successful claims. Defendants who are found liable in such claims usually are ordered to pay all court costs, expenses, and attorney's fees in addition to paying fines and repaying the disputed amount. There is no requirement to show that the defendant intended to defraud the government, as long as the court proves that the false claim was submitted with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard.

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