Attorneys at Serrins Fisher LLP represent employees who blow the whistle on employers who defraud the state or local government. In addition to prohibiting fraud, the New York State False Claims Act (NYS-FCA) offers protections and monetary incentives to whistleblowers.
Claims that are brought against individuals or companies that defraud the government are called qui tam claims. Depending on the facts of the case, a qui tam plaintiff — the person who brings the claim — may be entitled to up to 30 percent of the award if the attorney general or the government decides not to intervene; or up to 25 percent of the award if the AG or the government does intervene.
Here are some important things to know about qui tam claims in New York:
- If multiple individuals blow the whistle on the same fraud against the government, then the individual who files first is the only one who can receive a monetary award.
- A qui tam civil claim cannot be based on public information, unless the qui tam plaintiff is the “original source” of the information. (The NYS-FCA defines what is meant by “original source.”)
- The statute of limitations for a claim under the NYS-FCA is six years, starting from the date the violation occurred; or three years, starting from the date the government knew or should have known about the facts related to the violation.
- A claim under the NYS-FCA may not be brought if more than 10 years have passed since the violation occurred.
To learn more about protections offered to qui tam plaintiffs, please visit our New York False Claims Act overview.