False Claims Act

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The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. Sections 3729-33) is a federal statute that says the plaintiff with knowledge of government fraud, also known as a "whistleblower", may file a lawsuit on behalf of the government against the defendant (the person or business that committed the fraud) to recover stiff civil penalties and damages. Also known as the "Lincoln Act," referred to as "Qui Tam Act", which is short for a Latin phrase "forqui tam pro domino rege quam pro seipse," which is translated as "he who sues for the king as for himself." The law was enacted during the U.S. Civil War to prevent dishonest suppliers to the Union military at a time when the war effort made it all but impossible for the government to investigate and prosecute the fraud itself. If the suit is successful, it not only stops the dishonest conduct, but also deters similar conduct by others.