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Copyright (c) 1993 University of Cincinnati Law Review.
University of Cincinnati

COUNTERCLAIMS AGAINST WHISTLEBLOWERS: SHOULD COUNTERCLAIMS AGAINST QUI TAM PLAINTIFFS BE ALLOWED IN FALSE CLAIMS ACT CASES?

Fall 1993

62 U. Cin. L. Rev. 713

Author

Kent D. Strader *

Excerpt



I. Introduction


Fraud against the U.S. government may cost taxpayers as much as $ 100 billion annually. 1 This alarming waste, however, is no recent phenomenon. 2 As early as 1791, reports of defense contractors engaged in fraudulent transactions with the United States were not uncommon. 3 Recently, dishonest dealings with the government may be on the rise. 4 Although fraud is undoubtedly present in all government programs, 5 the upward trend is most likely because of the mammoth size of the present defense contractor industry. 6 This industry accounts for most of the reported fraudulent acts against the government. 7 Although the United States continues to decrease its defense budget because of the end of the "Cold War," fraud in the defense industry will likely remain rampant. 8 Although downsizing could cause increased government oversight, the shrinking funds will probably create greater incentives for the lingering defense contractors to squeeze as much as they can out of the remaining programs. 9

The federal government's best weapon against fraud is presently the False Claims Act (FCA). 10 In particular, the qui tam provisions of the FCA can produce large recoveries for the government at a minimal expense. 11 The qui tam provisions allow a private citizen to pursue an action on the government's behalf and on the citizen's own behalf against a party that has committed a fraud against the United States. 12 The qui tam plaintiff is essentially a whistleblower permitted to represent the government in an action to ...
 
 
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