Three Requirements for Whistleblowers
If you’re considering becoming a whistleblower for purposes of a False Claims Act case, you should keep in mind these three requirements:
First, you must have information about a fraud involving state or federal funds.
Second, you must have information that has never been “publicly disclosed,” which means that it has not already been: (a) published by the news media (or, in some cases, on the internet); (b) the subject of a previous criminal or civil case to which the federal government was a party, including another whistleblower case, even if that case is under seal; or (c) disclosed in a government report, hearing, audit or investigation by Congress. If your information has been publicly disclosed already then, generally speaking, you’re not likely to have a good False Claims Act case.
Third, you must be the “first to file,” which means that no other whistleblower, or group of whistleblowers, alleging the same facts has already filed a case beating you to the punch. Generally speaking, when more than one whistleblower case is filed alleging the same facts, only the case filed first survives.
To learn more, check out our Qui Tam Law FAQ.