There are three things that the Government will want to do during the Relator’s Interview, and all of them are important.
First, as we already mentioned in Part I of this series, the Government investigators want to get more information about the fraud itself. They may ask questions about the complaint; they may ask questions about the extra content provided in the disclosure statement; they may walk through documents that you have provided to be sure they understand the implications. They will likely ask about witnesses and other sources of more information. They may ask about layout of buildings, or where things are stored in the offices. All of these questions will be targeted at understanding more about what you are alleging and how they can most efficiently investigate and prove the case.
Second, they will want to evaluate your credibility. They will ask questions about your history and you will be forthright, honest, and candid. After all, they probably know it already. What can get you in trouble is not the actual, truthful answers to questions – it’s being evasive or incomplete or (heaven forbid) lying that will get you in trouble. Put another way, the Government investigators don’t likely care about your divorce, but if they ask you if you have been in a lawsuit, you want to be up front and include that information. No worries, we will help you prep for this part of the interview just like the rest.
But what if you are worried or embarrassed about things they may ask? There are a number of things we can do to help with that – but all of them start with you being honest with us about what is going on, so that we can develop a plan of action that balances your need for privacy with the need for candor. There’s a reason that attorney-client privilege exists, and this is one of them! Tell us everything –yes, everything! –and we take it from there.
Finally, the Government wants to assess what kind of witness you would make at trial. Credibility is part of that assessment, of course, but not all. They want to see how well you communicate your thoughts, how well you respond to questions and stay on topic, and of course assess all the other intangible qualities that make a good witness.
A good, experienced qui tam attorney will help you prepare for all of these purposes. Give us a call to arrange for a free consultation.
Stay tuned for the next installment of this series, Part III: Who attends the Relator’s Interview?