17. Whistleblower/False Claims Act Reward a/k/a “Relators’ Share”

The whole idea of the qui tam provisions of the FCA is to provide an incentive for those who help the government recover its stolen money.

The basic qui tam reward structure is a two tier system. If the government intervenes and proceeds with your case, you are entitled to receive at least 15 percent but not more than 25 percent of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim, depending upon the extent to which you substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action. If the government does not intervene and proceed with your case, you will receive an amount not less than 25 percent and not more than 30 percent of the proceeds of the action or settlement. Regardless of whether or not the government intervenes, you will still be entitled to recover all court cost and reasonable attorney fees.

Keep in mind that, if you played a role in planning or initiation of the act or acts that you are reporting, the above percentages may be further reduced. If you are convicted of a crime related to the violation, you cannot recover any reward.

Finally, if your claim is found to be frivolous, clearly vexatious, or brought primarily for purposes of harassment, a defendant may be able to recover expenses and attorney fees from you.