The federal False Claims Act imposes strict penalties on companies or contractors that defraud the federal government. According to the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, fraud schemes that have been uncovered as a result of the false claims act include false billing practices, double billing practices, performing unnecessary medical procedures to receive Medicare reimbursement, billing for tests not performed, changing billing codes to bill the federal government more money for medical procedures, taking more natural resources from public lands than reported to the government, billing for phantom employees, and more.
The federal False Claims Act is a unique law in that it permits citizens who have evidence of fraud against the government to sue on behalf of the government. These are called the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the law. Individuals who sue companies on behalf of the government can receive a portion of the funds recovered in a case. The qui tam provisions extend the government’s reach. As it stands, the government simply does not have the resources to investigate every case of fraud. However, under the whistleblower provisions of the law, citizens could benefit for speaking up. The whistleblower provision is designed to discourage cultures of fraud in companies.
If you believe you have a case, you may want to contact a False Claims Act lawyer. It is important to have a strong case before acting as a whistleblower. If the government chooses not to take on a case or if the case loses in court, the whistleblower could be held liable for a company’s legal fees. This is why it is incredibly important to move forward with adequate evidence and a qualified False Claims Act lawyer on your side. Individuals who act as whistleblowers often put their careers on the line. The False Claims Act protects employees from retaliation, but it is important to understand your rights and the limits of the law before proceeding with a claim. According to the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, generally before whistleblowers proceed, the fraud has to reach a certain size and extent. The Heilman Law Group, PA are false claims act lawyers who understand the importance of the False Claims Act and who assist whistleblowers who believe they have a case. Protect your rights as a whistleblower. Contact the Heilman Law Group, PA, False Claims Act lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi today.
A whistleblower is a person who exposes, or makes public, illegal or unethical activity. Whistleblowers can come from many diverse backgrounds and professions. Whistleblowers can be defense contractors, doctors, nurses, miners, researchers, scientists, and citizens of the community who detected fraud or unethical practices and report them. The False Claims Act can be challenging to navigate alone. Many whistleblowers seek a qui tam lawsuit lawyer to assist them with their case. If you are considering acting as a whistleblower, you may want to contact a qui tam lawsuit attorney in Jackson, Mississippi.
Nurses and doctors have become whistleblowers after noticing that their organization’s billing practices were illegal or unethical. Performing medical procedures when they are not necessary, performing unnecessary tests, or improperly coding during billing practices to increase revenue are all examples of unethical or illegal Medicare billing practices. For example, billing doctor’s rates for work performed by a nurse or intern could be considered illegal or unethical.
Researchers and scientists have become whistleblowers when they noticed that results were being falsified or that tests reported to the government were not actually being performed. Research paid for by the U.S. government can take place at universities or at private organizations. These organizations should be in compliance of ethical standards.
Individuals who work in mining or harvesting natural resources have become whistleblowers when they noticed that their companies were taking more resources than was reported to the government. Certain practices on public lands are limited and restricted. Taking more resources than is permitted can lead to the loss of precious natural resources and the destruction of the environment.
Speaking up when you see unethical behavior can be difficult. It can feel like you are putting your career and your livelihood on the line. Under the federal government’s qui tam, or whistleblower provision, citizens who have evidence of fraud have the right to sue the company and have the right to receive a portion of the recovery. The qui tam provisions can also protect the employee from retaliation.
A qui tam lawsuit lawyer can help you understand your rights and protections, and can assist you in building a strong False Claims Act case. The Heilman Law Group, PA works closely with courageous individuals who have chosen to speak up when they witness unethical or illegal acts. Contact us today to protect yourself.
Rewards for Whistleblowers in Qui Tam Lawsuits
Whistleblowers in the health care industry have reaped rewards for whistleblowing false claims and inflated bills. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers may receive rewards that amount to as much as 15% to 30% of the money the government successfully recovers in a qui tam case. In some cases, individuals learn about fraudulent practices because they work for a company engaging in fraud, in other cases, they learn about fraudulent practices through other means. The health care industry is one area where the government sees rampant abuse and collects billions of dollars in settlements in qui tam and whistleblower lawsuits. In many ways, it relies on the good will of citizens and workers to report cases of abuse when they arise. Accordingly, whistleblowers serve to enjoy legal protections and financial rewards.
However, one should never try to initiate a qui tam case alone or without the help of a qualified attorney. Individuals who do not present a successful case run the risk of being held responsible for a company’s legal fees. For this reason, it is important that individuals speak to a competent qui tam lawyer who can review the evidence, the facts of the case, and interview witnesses to determine the best course of action going forward.
Handling a qui tam case properly is also important if you want to receive a reward. There are many laws regarding qui tam litigation. Individuals must follow proper procedures in order to receive a recovery under the law. If you believe you have a case, don’t jeopardize your recovery by acting alone. Contact the qualified qui tam lawyers at the Heilman Law Group, P.A. today to learn more about your rights, your options, and the best course forward.
Things to Consider Before Becoming a Whistleblower
According to the National Law Review, the federal government has paid over $4 billion dollars in rewards to whistleblowers. In the eyes of the federal government, whistleblowers are seen as heroes. They save the government billions of dollars, save taxpayers’ money, and they hold businesses ethically accountable. That said, deciding to pursue a qui tam lawsuit or to become a whistleblower can be frightening. You may wonder whether you may be putting your job in jeopardy. You may be afraid that your boss might find out. The good news is that whistleblowing cases are sealed. However, having a competent qui tam lawyer on your side can protect you as you navigate the complex legal process of becoming a whistleblower. Here are some things you should know before you take action:
Act Quickly: Under the False Claims Act, only the first person to “blow the whistle” receives the award. Only the first person to file a whistleblower claim is entitled to receive a percentage of the money the government recovers. Of course, you want to speak to an attorney before you file any claims. A lawyer will gather evidence, review facts, and help you understand your rights and the risks of filing before you take this important step.
Hire the Right Lawyer: Qui tam lawsuits can take years to settle. Qui tam lawsuits are complex and may require whole teams of lawyers working in order to be successful. You’ll want to find a lawyer you trust who has the skill to handle the complexities of a qui tam case. A good lawyer will ask to see evidence and will put together a strong case. Cases are won on evidence.
Qui Tam Lawsuits are Sealed: If the media knows about fraud, then the government probably knows about it as well. Qui tam lawsuits reward individuals who bring fraud to light—for the first time. In other words, the government would not have known that the fraud was taking place without your taking action. If you do plan to move forward with a qui tam lawsuit, you will not be able to speak about the lawsuit with co-workers or with the media. However, if multiple people are aware of the fraud, a group of co-workers may choose to bring forth a qui tam lawsuit together. The government will investigate the case while it is under seal. During this time, the facts won’t be public, and if you violate this provision of the law, you run the risk of forfeiting any potential reward.
If you are aware of fraud in the health care industry, or in another industry that receives federal or taxpayer money, you may qualify for a reward under the False Claims Act. There are also many local and state laws in place to reward individuals who report fraud. However, qui tam lawsuits can be incredibly complicated. You need a talented team of qui tam lawyers working on your side. The Heilman Law Group, P.A. are qui tam lawyers who understand the unique challenges and rewards of False Claim Act lawsuits. If you think you may have a case, contact us today. We can help.