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False Claims Act

FALSE CLAIM ACT LAWYER & QUI TAM ATTORNEY

At Mickelsen Dalton, we are available to represent whistleblowers around the nation who bravely help uncover significant fraud against the United States government.

Under that is known as the False Claims Act and the Qui Tam statutes, whistleblowers are typically entitled to receive 15% to 30% of the proceeds recovered in Qui Tam lawsuits (i.e., cases involving fraud against government programs). Under this Act, whistleblowers exposing fraud have received hundreds of millions of dollars in payments for their efforts.

If you are aware of information relating to fraud on the government, including IRS tax, healthcare, defense contractor, environmental regulation, oil and gas, trade, or other fraud, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.

As False Claim Act lawyers and Qui Tam attorneys, we are available to represent whistleblowers (called “relators”) in government fraud cases. We accept cases on a contingency fee as specified in the False Claims Act statutes, and we also advance all costs and expenses associated with litigation.

Call today to get started!

Overview

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What Are the Common Types of Qui Tam Cases?

Qui Tam cases are brought under the federal False Claims Act by whistleblowers on behalf of the United States government against individuals and businesses that have committed fraud against the federal government. Fraud against the government can arise in a variety of contexts, but some of the most prevalent types of qui tam actions involve:

  • Healthcare Fraud. Whistleblowers can bring Qui Tam cases against medical providers (such as hospitals, clinics, home health providers, physicians, pharmacists, other healthcare facilities or personnel) for fraudulent billing practices, including (but not limited to) double billing, forged records, upcoding, and providing unnecessary tests, treatment, or drugs.
  • Kickbacks. Medicare and Medicaid pay out trillions of dollars for healthcare claims each year. As such, many individuals and companies offer remuneration (discounts, bribes, etc.) to induce government business from these programs, corrupting the system.
  • Qui Tam cases often arise in the context of government contractors, especially those involving defense contracts. Companies could be liable for contractual violations if they knowingly sell defective goods, fail to provide the quality of materials required by the contracts, overbill the government for time or materials, falsify performance matters, and a variety of other fraudulent conduct.
  • Best Price Contracts. Companies are required to offer their best price to secure government contracts. This means that overcharging the government can be actionable.
  • Off-Label Pharmaceuticals. Lawsuits can be filed against pharmaceutical drug companies (and medical device manufacturers) for unlawfully marketing a product for off-label use. For example, if a drug is only approved to treat chronic migraines but is prescribed as an aesthetic facial filler, the treating healthcare provide cannot bill Medicare for the cost of the drug when used as an aesthetic facial filler.
  • Trade Agreements. Government contracts are subject to the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), meaning that any products brought into the country must be manufactured in a country with which the United States is a trading partner.  If a company imports goods from a non-trading partner and falsifies documentation concerning the country or origin, this could be considered fraudulent activity.

If you witnessed wrongdoing or fraudulent practices in your place of business or elsewhere, we urge you to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with our experienced qui tam lawyers.

How Much Does a Qui Tam Lawyer Cost?

The process for compensating False Claims Act lawyers is set forth in such a statute. In general, attorneys are paid in the case of a successful recovery against those participating in the fraud (the exact fee is determined by a judge in accordance with statute guidelines). Our firm advances all costs, so whistleblowers do not need to pay any costs or expenses.

Who Is Eligible to File a Qui Tam Lawsuit and Become Whistleblower?

Under the federal False Claims Act,[1] any private citizen is eligible to file a lawsuit (on behalf of the government) against a business or individual defrauding federal programs or contracts.

Qui Tam lawsuits are kept private (i.e., under seal), which means only the government will be privy to the parties involved. Even the accused business or individual will not initially be made aware of the lawsuit so the government can investigate allegations without interference.

It is important to note that in the case of multiple whistleblowers, only the first whistleblower who brings an action is entitled to recover. As a result, if you are aware of fraud against the government, you should not mention this knowledge to anyone other than a lawyer. We invite you to contact us as soon as possible so that we can take timely and appropriate action to preserve your potential rights to compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

You only have a limited time to file a whistleblower lawsuit; therefore, it is critical to reaching out to our office as soon as possible.  Under the False Claims Act, a Qui Tam lawsuit must be filed within either six years from the date the fraudulent act occurred or three years after the government knows (or should have known) about the violation.[2]

Qui Tam cases can take considerable time to investigate, making it crucial to timely secure our representation.  The sooner we are contacted, the faster we can start collecting evidence and building a compelling case for maximum recovery.

How Much Can I Collect for Exposing Fraud on the Government through a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

It is widely recognized that the best method for incentivizing individuals to expose information that the government cannot readily detect on its own is by allowing whistleblowers to share in the recovery. Under the False Claims Act statute, whistleblowers are entitled to receive 15% to 30% of the fraudulent funds recovered by the government.

Fraudulent activity is rarely an isolated incident; consequently, whistleblowers can recover significant awards (well into the millions of dollars) for exposing ongoing, unscrupulous business practices (such as recurring Medicare or Medicaid fraud).

Are There Any Protections for Whistleblowers?

Yes.

Under Section 3730(h) of the False Claims Act,[3] any individual who is fired, demoted, harassed, or otherwise discriminated against for exposing fraudulent conduct is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole. This can include:

  • Job Reinstatement
  • Double Back Pay
  • Special Damages (e.g., litigation costs, attorney fees, etc.)

Why Should I Hire a Qui Tam Lawyer?

The rules and regulations regarding the False Claims Act are complicated.  If you have information regarding fraud being committed against the government, we want to help.  Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your legal options for seeking accountability and compensation.


[1] 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733.

[2] In no event can a case proceed after ten years after violating the Act.

[3] 31 U.S.C. § 3730.

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