False Claims Act and Civil Fraud Cases

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.

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:

  • False claims to Medicare and Medicaid;
  • The payment of kickbacks for the referral of business that will result in payments from the government;
  • False claims by defense and other contractors providing items and services to the government;
  • Failures to pay over taxes and other tariffs due to the government;
  • The off-label marketing of drugs and devices that result in claims for reimbursement being submitted to the government; and
  • Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving the payment of kickbacks to foreign governments in connection with the providing of items or services to those governments.
  • 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.

If you need assistance with a False Claims Act matter, please contact us. We provide evening and weekend appointments.

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