October 5, 2016

False Claims Act

Overview

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S. Code § 3729-3733 , provides a powerful tool for private citizens to expose fraud and abuse of the federal government by corporations, nonprofits, and municipalities, and collect a substantial reward of up to 30% of 3 times the damages sustained to the federal government for successfully doing so. This Law Office regularly files FCA or qui tam actions against such defrauding entities on private citizens or ‘whistleblowers’ behalf.

An entity defrauds the federal government if it makes a false claim for payment like billing for services not rendered or violating certifications of adherence to applicable regulations, or it makes a false statement or uses a false record in an application for federal funds, or it withholds money or property that properly belongs to the federal government.Common frauds, schemes, and abuses perpetrated against the federal government that have been successfully reclaimed through the FCA are Medicaid & Medicare Fraud, Nursing Home Fraud, Medical Device Fraud, Violation of Anti-Kickback Statute, Tax Credit Fraud, Military Contractor Fraud and Government Contractor Fraud.

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How to become a Whistleblower

If you suspect a corporation, nonprofit, or municipality is defrauding the federal government, and you have non-public information regarding this alleged fraud, then you may become a whistleblower.In order to collect their reward a whistleblower must: (1) collect as much information and documentation as possible without alerting the defrauding entity; and (2) contact us with a summary of the scheme with supporting documentation.

If a whistleblower is fired or has an adverse action taken against them in reaction to a qui tam case, then they have a retaliation claim against the employer. The more detailed and organized a whistleblower is in presenting their information to us, the faster a qui tam action can be filed, which is important because only the first whistleblowers to file may collect a reward. It does not matter where you live or where the fraud took place, we will have jurisdiction to file it in any federal court.

Qui Tam Action

If we accept your case, then we initiate a qui tam action on your behalf on a contingency fee basis. A qui tam action works a follows: (1) we will collect all of the information and disclose it to the government; (2) we will file a complaint under seal — under legal protection of secrecy — with the Federal Court that has jurisdiction; (3) the government will decide whether or not to take the case; (4) if the government decides not to take the case, then we may continue to prosecute it on our own.

Once the complaint is filed and under seal it’s existence or its allegations may not be disclosed to the public otherwise the case may get dismissed. It may take up to a year or two for the government to decide whether or not to take the case, and then another year or two for it to settle or win the case, but if the government takes the case the chances of winning are much higher. If the government wins or settles then the whistleblower would be entitled to anywhere between 15-20% of the settlement or recovery. If the government refuses to take the case, and the prospect for winning is high, then we may continue the case on our own and the whistleblower would then be entitled to 20-30% of the settlement or recovery.