Under the False Claims Act (FCA) a private person (relator) may bring a qui tam civil action ‘in the name of the Federal Government” against “any person, who, inter alia, “knowing presents. . . to the. . . the . . .Government… a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval.” 31 U.S.C. Section 3729(a). Most states have a False Claims statute. The Virgin Islands Legislature has not enacted a local false claims statute. Residents of the Virgin Islands however may file a qui tam action on behalf of the federal government, if federal funds are implicated.
What is a Qui Tam Action?
Qui tam is a type of lawsuit that a private person may bring against, an individual, a private company, or a municipal corporation (agency of the government) that is defrauding the federal government and recover funds on the behalf of the federal government. The qui tam action is filed under seal, i.e. it is kept secret, to give the U.S. Justice Department an opportunity to investigate the allegation of fraud. If the claims succeed, the relator’s share may be up to 30 percent of the proceeds of the action, plus reasonable expenses, costs, and attorneys’ fees.