The attorneys at Nicholson & Eastin, LLP assist our clients with matters arising under the Federal and state False Claims Acts. As a former federal prosecutor, the Managing Attorney of the firm prosecuted civil and criminal False Claims Act cases.
The Federal False Claims Act allows the government to sue health care providers and entities, as well as other persons and entities that submit or cause the submission of false claims for reimbursement to the government, for damages and penalties. The government can also sue in cases where money owed to the government is not paid. The False Claims Act provides for treble damages (three times the amount unlawfully obtained or not paid over by the defendant), as well as penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim.
The purpose of the False Claims Act (FCA) is to combat fraud against the government and protect taxpayer funds. Enacted during the Civil War in 1863, the FCA was initially aimed at addressing fraudulent practices by companies selling supplies to the Union Army. Over time, its scope has expanded to cover a wide range of fraudulent activities involving government contracts, programs, and funds.
The FCA serves several key purposes:
Overall, the False Claims Act plays a crucial role in safeguarding taxpayer dollars and promoting integrity in government programs and contracts. It holds wrongdoers accountable, protects whistleblowers, and helps maintain the public’s trust in the government’s ability to manage funds responsibly.
In addition to the government bringing a False Claims Act suit, private individuals can also bring cases under the False Claims Act if they have non-public information regarding false claims being submitted to the government, or of a person or entity that has an obligation to pay money to the government, and fails to do so. The private citizen who brings the suit on behalf of the government is known as a relator, and they are entitled to receive a portion of any recovery in the case — anywhere from 10% to 30% depending on the case, plus attorneys fees and costs.
False Claims Act cases can arise in many contexts, but typically involve the following areas:
In addition to the Federal False Claims Act, there are separate whistleblower statutes that allow for the whistleblower to receive a bounty in connection with income tax evasion and securities fraud.
There are provisions in federal and state law that protect whistleblowers, including civil and criminal sanctions if retaliation is taken against the whistleblower.
The False Claims Act empowers private individuals to act as watchdogs against fraud targeting the government, incentivizing them with rewards and protections. Whistleblowers play a critical role in preserving the integrity of government programs and contracts. If you have concerns related to a False Claims Act matter, our team is here to assist you. We offer flexible scheduling, including evening and weekend appointments, to ensure you receive the support you need. Contact us today to take a stand against fraud and protect government funds.
If you need assistance with a False Claims Act matter, please contact us. We provide evening and weekend appointments.