Tony Munter on Good False Claims Act Cases
Here is a video interview of whistleblower attorney Tony Munter discussing what makes a good False Claims Act case.
[iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/IX4WhZTmPRI?list=UUcIw8mTRdECYC44howjm9GA” width=”100%” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”>]
This is Tony Munter… I’ve talked about obscure kinds of false claims cases and now I want to go back to basics. What is an obvious False Claims Act case? What kind of case should just you run to the phone to get a lawyer and file it fast? Well, that is really the important question, because a good False Claims Act case has basically two elements.
First, it should just plain scream out as fraud. I can talk all day about the technical requirements for your case to meet the definition of a claim. I can ask all kinds of questions, and these questions are very important and may affect your ability to collect on the case. There are issues regarding public disclosures, the original source, and the statute of limitations. Yes, those are all important. Sure, a False Claims Act case is not, strictly speaking, the same thing as common law fraud. But if you can’t explain how somebody got ripped off, then there is a good chance the case won’t work out. But if you can explain that element, then we have to ask the second question.
That second question is: was there any government money at stake? The False Claims Act and the false claims acts of the states only work if somehow the government’s money is at stake. You may have a wild case involving fraud between two big securities firms, and that may even be worth reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission through their whistleblower office, but if you can’t find some element of government money, you do not have a traditional False Claims Act case. No matter what, you have to be able to figure out what government agency lost money.
But if you can figure out these two things – if you can show how your case screams fraud and you can show what government agency was ripped off in the process – you’re going to have a lawyer who wants to speak to you about a False Claims Act case.