Whistleblower lawsuits are often complex and costly so most private citizens retain attorneys, such as those at Mueller Law, knowledgeable about the False Claims Act (“Act”) and willing to confront powerful defendants. In 2015, the Department of Justice announced that it recovered more than $3.5 billion in civil fraud cases brought under the Act. Healthcare involving Medicare and Medicaid often involves fraudulent claims. The fraud can include billing for services not rendered, performing services without medical necessity and paying kickbacks. Defense contractors and persons or companies receiving Government money or grants are also subject to qui tam lawsuits.
Attorneys at Mueller Law are members and supporters of Taxpayers Against Fraud (“TAF”), a nonprofit, public interest organization dedicated to combating fraud against the Federal Government through the promotion and use of the Act.
Congress passed the Act in 1863 during the Civil War to address rampant fraud in the procurement of supplies and materiel for the Union Army. President Lincoln signed the legislation into law March 2, 1863. It thus became known as the “Lincoln Law.”
Congress amended the Act numerous times: in 1986, during the Defense Department build-up; on May 20, 2009, pursuant to Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (“FERA”); and March 23, 2010, as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) – all done to strengthen the Act.
Currently, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have False Claims Acts.
An individual or entity may violate the Act if they present, or cause to be presented, a false claim for payment – or if they made a false statement or record to get a claim paid – to the United States Government.
The statute contains a qui tam provision where an individual or entity, referred to as a “relator,” may sue on behalf of the Government. If successful, they receive a percentage of the recovery. The relator may also assert personal employment claims for wrongful termination. Cases are filed in court under seal.
If you think that you might have information concerning a potential Federal or State False Claims Act case please feel free to contact our team for a free consultation using the form below: