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Ninth Circuit Narrows Qualifications for Being Qui Tam "Original Source"


The Ninth Circuit, in Malhotra v. Steinberg (Oct. 29, 2014), held that, despite tipping off the government as to one kind of wrongdoing by the defendant, the FCA relators were not the "original source" of a different alleged act of wrongdoing perpetrated by the same defendant, a bankruptcy trustee. The relators independently discovered and alerted federal authorities to defendant trustee's scheme to sell property at a price lower than fair market value, but because that federal investigation led to the public disclosure of the defendant's receipt of kickbacks from those sales, the court held that the relators were not the original source of the kickback allegation which formed the basis of their qui tam action.

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Mark R. Troy
Senior Counsel – Los Angeles
Phone: +1 213.443.5576