Since the first qui tam provision appeared during the middle ages, hundreds of whistleblowers came forward to fight all kind of frauds and scams. The history we’re going to tell you in this article tries to draw a timeline of the evolution of qui tam as well as the beginning and enactment of the False Claims Act (FCA).
Governments around the world spend massive sums on healthcare, defense, and infrastructure to keep society running safely and efficiently. Corrupt individuals and businesses often take advantage of the bureaucracy’s limited oversight capabilities to steal, overbill and cheat the authorities in order to maximize their own business profits. These fraudulent practices create a greater tax burden on citizens, as well as endanger public welfare by lowering the quality of goods and services provided.
Because fraud has always been hard to detect, many nations have historically relied on private citizens to report on corruption, theft, and corporate misconduct. Lawmakers turned to private citizens to uncover and deter illegal schemes as early as the 7th century. The basic principle of those early statutes was to reward individuals a portion of the stolen money they helped uncover, the same assumption that lives on in modern whistleblower law.