The False Claims Act allows individuals to report companies, federally funded programs, or individuals who commit fraud against the U.S. Government. Here are a few of the most common types of False Claim Act cases.
Healthcare fraud is the most common type of False Claims Act case today.
A whistleblower, also known as the qui tam plaintiff, can report healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, or others who defraud the government. This may include individuals or companies who deliberately defraud the government through improper activities such as kickbacks, overcharging, or fraudulent billing.
The government has recovered billions of dollars in these cases. And false claims by pharmaceutical companies have been in the press quite a bit over the last few years. Employees of pharmaceutical companies have reported fraud and have helped the government recover large sums of taxpayer money under the False Claims Act.
Among the common types of healthcare fraud are Medicaid and Medicare fraud. Most doctors and healthcare providers bill Medicare and Medicaid for services they provide patients, but some cheat the system, costing American taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
Medicare processes over a billion claims each year. The government does not have enough staff to detect all possible Medicaid and Medicare fraud cases. That’s why whistleblowers are especially important.
Government Contractor Fraud
Contractor fraud is another common type of False Claims Act case. Whistleblowers can report contractors who defraud the government through bribes, kickbacks, or false certifications of compliance to win government contracts.
Although defense contractor fraud is the most common type of contractor fraud, government contractors from many industries have committed fraud against the U.S. government.
For example, when the government requires goods or services, it solicits bids from various contractors. Violations such as bribery, deceptive charging, or violations in inspection or testing are examples of purchase and procurement fraud.
Contract compliance violations like false certification of regulatory or statutory compliance may also constitute False Claims Act cases.
And finally, government contractors must follow federal laws and public policies such as equal employment, wage laws, and environmental protection. Failure to follow any of these laws can fall under the False Claim Act as well.
All forms of contractor fraud may violate the False Claim Act. Individuals with first-hand knowledge of violations, along with the help of an attorney experienced in litigating False Claim Act cases, can help blow the whistle on contractors that defraud the government.
The U.S. Government oversees the important challenge of environmental regulation. Those who intentionally violate these statutes and regulations are committing environmental fraud.
Whistleblowers play a crucial role in uncovering environmental fraud. Employees who are aware of unsafe or illegal practices that could adversely affect the environment should report what they know.
Several laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and others protect whistleblowers who report environmental violations. This makes it possible to report an employer without fear of employer retaliation.
Further, contractors who defraud the government through overcharging for toxic waste cleanup, overcharging or charging for work never completed, or falsely certifying compliance with environmental regulations are in violation of federal law and subject to legal action.
Speak with an Attorney
The False Claims Act allows whistleblowers with first-hand knowledge of fraud against the U.S. Government to report these instances to the Justice Department.
Those who commit fraud against the government are liable to pay steep penalties and up to three times the amount of the government’s loss. Whistleblowers may receive a percentage of the amount the government recovers in a False Claims Act case.
If you have knowledge of an individual or company you believe has committed fraud against the government, do not attempt to handle it alone. Speak to an attorney with experience litigating False Claims Act cases.
At Newsome Melton, we have the experience and resources needed to pursue False Claims Act cases. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 888-808-5977 for a free consultation.