Whistleblower laws form the foundation of the False Claims Act and are are crucial because they provide protection and incentives for qui tam whistleblowers (also called relators) to bring information to the government. Under federal and state laws, defendants who violate the False Claims Act are liable for triple damages (plus penalties) to the government.
Because successful whistleblowers are awarded between 10 to 30 percent of the sum recovered (qui tam whistleblower rewards depend on a number of factors, including the stage of the case at the time of the recovery), whistleblowers and their lawyers are rewarded for doing the right thing: reporting fraud, working with the government, and investigating and presenting the evidence of fraud to the government so that the government can successfully pursue the case with the whistleblower. This is true for all kinds of fraud including Medicaid and Medicare fraud, defense contracting fraud, and educational grant fraud. Because of the False Claims Act and other qui tam laws protecting and incentivizing whistleblowers, the government has recovered billions of dollars stolen from the treasury.