Opinion analysis: Court resolves twin disputes about timing of suits under False Claims Act

Kellogg Brown & Root Services v. United States ex rel. Carter took the Court once again – for the seventh time in the last ten years – into the sordid world of the False Claims Act. It seems like such a simple idea. Recognizing the limited incentives that government contractors and the officials who deal with them have to disclose their own corrupt dealings, Congress since the Civil War has permitted private parties (“relators”) to collect what amounts to a bounty if they bring to light evidence of serious fraud in a government contract. Those actions are commonly known as “qui tam” actions, based on the opening words of a common-law writ that allowed a recovery for private parties that assisted a prosecution.
Although the United States technically is a party, in practice the cases become disputes between

Original SCOTUS article

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