False Claims Acts: Should They Be Sealed? Essay

2093 Words Mar 12th, 2013 9 Pages
Running head: FALSE CLAIMS ACTS: 1
SHOULD THEY BE SEALED?

False Claims Acts: Should they be sealed?
Becky L. Garcia

Abstract

Throughout history the United States Government has been responsible for massive expenditures for government operations involving taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, with all the different organizations and transactions transpiring, there have become endless opportunities for fraud or deceptive practices. The government enacted the False Claims Act for help in controlling the deceptive practices and additionally giving them a viable tool to expose the fraudulent acts. The False Claims Act allows a whistleblower or “qui tam” to come forward and help aide the government with the massive ongoing
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The decision, reasoning, and rationale for the sealing of the claims are very important for the whistleblower and should not be considered unconstitutional but rather a constitutional right of protection and anonymity.
1) What is the False Claims Act?
The government was having many problems as far back as the Civil War with fraud and abuse by companies or government contractors selling supplies to the Union Army. Many millions of dollars were being swindled out of the government from supplies: like moth-eaten blankets, unhealthy horses, or boxes of sawdust that were supposed to be guns. The government needed help with all the fraud taken place with these government purchases. The help came by way of Congress enacting and passing into law in 1863, with President Abraham Lincoln being a strong supporter, the False Claims Act (FCA). FCA was also referred to or known as the “Lincoln Law,” since Lincoln was President at the time.
The FCA included the important provision of “qui tam,” which “allowed private citizens to sue, on the government’s behalf, companies and individuals that were defrauding the government” (“History of,” 2007). The Latin phrase of “qui tam” is the first two words in a long Latin phrase that is interpreted as “Who sues on behalf of the King as well as for himself” (Qui Tam, 2012). This act was very important and vital in allowing the private citizen to help with the federal officials in combating the

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