What is a “Relator”?
A “Relator” is another term for whistleblower. The Relator exposes government fraud by reporting it to the government and filing a False Claims Act lawsuit. When the lawsuit is filed, the Relator’s name appears in the caption of the lawsuit, which stay under seal for at least 60 days, but usually longer, so that the Government can investigate the Relator’s allegations.
If the lawsuit is successful, a Relator can receive a reward of 15% to 30% of the total amount of damages, fines and penalties recovered by the government. The exact amount recovered will depend on a number of factors, including the helpfulness of the Relator’s information, how quickly the Relator came forward to report the fraud, and whether the Relator played any role in the fraud.
Relators come in all shapes and sizes. Some are employees or ex-employees of the fraudster. Some are competitors, tired of watching other companies achieve successes in the marketplace through fraud and dishonesty.
It takes courage to become a whistleblower. Indeed, many successful Relators report that they did not bring their whistleblower cases for the money. Instead, they were motivated to report fraud because they wanted to do the right thing. Many times, fraud does more than merely cheat the taxpayers. Fraud can also create real danger to patients who are exposed to unnecessary medical procedures, to soldiers who are unknowingly supplied with defective equipment, and to other innocent bystanders. Relators frequently report that their internal reports and warnings about fraud were completely ignored by their superiors, and they turned to the False Claims Act after being shunned in the workplace.
The False Claims Act is not like an internal complaint that can be ignored by management. The False Claims Act hits fraudsters where it hurts — in the pocketbook.
Please note:Rabin Kammerer Johnson provides these FAQ’s for informational purposes only, and you should not interpret this information as legal advice. If you know about government fraud and want advice as to how the law might apply to the specific facts and circumstances of your case, please click here to contact one of our attorneys.