U.S. Intervenes in Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Polling Giant Gallup Organization
Michael Lindley, a former employee of the Gallup Organization, filed a whistleblower lawsuit under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act alleging that the Gallup Organization overcharged the U.S. government on contracts to provide polling services. The Justice Department has announced that it will join the lawsuit.
Whistleblower Brings False Claims Lawsuit Against Gallup.
The whistleblower lawsuit alleges that Gallup violated the False Claims Act when it gave the government inflated estimates of the hours that would be required for the company's services, despite Gallup's own lower internal estimates of the time required. The government paid Gallup on the basis of these inflated estimates rather than the actual number of hours spent or Gallup's internal estimates. By fraudulently inducing the government to pay more than was justified, Gallup's bill amounted to false claims against the federal government and the various agencies for which Gallup provided services.
The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow individual whistleblowers to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government to recover money that was fraudulently obtained. The whistleblower is then entitled to share in a portion of any recovery. A qui tam attorney can help the whistleblower determine whether to file a lawsuit and how to proceed. The False Claims Act also authorizes the government to intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit to represent its own interests and assume primary responsibility for the litigation.