In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed the origin of the False Claims Act during the American Civil War. The act came about as a way to encourage individuals with specific information regarding the overcharging of the Union for goods and services purchased by the U.S. government.
Sometimes called qui tam or whistleblower's lawsuits, these claims help protect taxpayers by identifying fraudulent practices and reporting them to the government. However, the so-called "public disclosure bar" limits the information regarding such unsavory practices to things that the government would not have discovered by itself. In other words, the whistleblower, sometimes referred to as the relator, must have some information that is not ordinarily found in government documents or records.