The False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 - 3733 was enacted in 1863 to prevent fraud against the government during the Civil War. For this reason, the federal statute is referred to as the the Lincoln Law. Additionally, this important law protects whistleblowers and is called Qui Tam, which is an abbreviation for abbreviation from Latin "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur", meaning "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself" or "who as much for [our] lord the king as for himself in this action pursues" or "follows."
Because of this statute, and amendments since its enactment, whistleblowers or relators who reveal fraud against the government in industries such as healthcare, pharmacies and others involving government contracting may act as a private attorney general.
Unlike most lawsuits, complaints under the False Claims Act must be filed under seal and kept confidential. Therefore, consultation with an attorney is critical in the early stages when fraud is suspected.
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