Oral argument: Nov. 30, 2009
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (June 9, 2008)
FALSE CLAIMS ACT, QUI TAM, RELATOR, SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION
Respondent, the United States ex rel. Karen Wilson ("Wilson"), brought a qui tam action against two North Carolinian counties, Graham and Cherokee (collectively the “Counties”), for allegedly filing fraudulent reimbursement claims with the federal government. The Counties argue that, under the False Claims Act, no court has jurisdiction over Wilson's suit, because the State of North Carolina had previously publicly disclosed the information on which Wilson relies in her suit. Wilson counters that the False Claims Act’s public disclosure bar refers only to federal reports, audits, and investigations. In this case, the Supreme Court will decide whether, under the False Claims Act, a publicly disclosed state audit and investigation may preclude jurisdiction over a qui tam action.