Restating The “Original Source Exception” To The False Claims Act’s “Public Disclosure Bar” In Light Of The 2010 Amendments

Joel D. Hesch*

Government spending is at an all-time high, and with it so is fraud against the government. As much as 10 percent of every dollar spent on government programs is lost to fraud, which amounts to over $350 billion a year. Because the government is ill-equipped to detect fraud, Congress employs a unique qui tam enforcement provision within the False Claims Act (the “FCA”) to recover such ill-gotten gains. Under the FCA, a whistleblower, known as a “relator,” is eligible for a reward by filing a qui tam civil suit on behalf of the government against a company or person that has defrauded the government. If the case is successful, a relator is awarded a portion of the recovery, which is typically between 15 percent and 30 percent of any recovery.

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* Professor of Law, Liberty University School of Law. J.D., 1988, The Catholic University of America.