Faculty Publications


Qui tam actions: Fighting fraud against the government

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Carl J. Pacini

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2007

Date Available

April 2014




Purpose : This paper seeks to provide auditors, forensic accountants, investigators, regulators, financial managers, lawyers, law enforcement personnel, academics, and others with a basic overview of the steps in and elements of a qui tam legal claim, limitations on a qui tam claim, protection for a whistleblower employee, and the role of qui tam litigation in the fight against fraud. Design/methodology/approach : A sample of types of recent qui tam fraud cases is highlighted for the reader. The steps in filing a qui tam claim are described along with the limitations of pursuing such a lawsuit. The paper includes a statutory and legal case study analysis of each required element of proof in a qui tam claim. Analysis of actual qui tam court cases illustrates the importance of private civil lawsuits in combating fraud committed against the US Government. Findings : This paper provides readers with information about the substantial recoveries earned by successful qui tam plaintiffs. Also, the necessary steps in and elements of a qui tam suit are revealed. Technical legal details of various federal court rulings are distilled for readers. The important role of this unique type of lawsuit in the arsenal of those who fight against government fraud is emphasized. Originality/value : This paper fills an identified need to inform those involved in the fight against economic crime about an important tool that uncovers and deters fraud against the federal government.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Journal of Financial Crime, 14(1), 64-78. doi:10.1108/13590790710721819 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.