The Federal False Claims Act (FCA) provides for civil sanctions that can be devastating to a company – up to three times the damages as well as fines for individual false claims. Since the 1986 amendments to the FCA, the government has increasingly used the statute to generate billions of dollars in fines and penalties. Since fiscal year 2009, the Department of Justice recovers an average of $4 billion per year and the total recovery between 2009 and 2016 is $31.3 billion. Additionally, the government often uses a company's FCA violation for the basis of suspension and/or debarment from government contracting.
Individual whistleblowers often bring FCA claims on behalf of the government. These suits are called qui tam suits and, if successful, the whistleblower is entitled to up to 30% of the recovery. This provides tremendous incentive for individuals to file their own suits, often without even going through the company's compliance procedures. In addition, whistleblowers often bring retaliation claims with the qui tam suit.
As a general compliance tool for companies, the Firm has compiled a Whistleblower Litigation Mitigation Checklist of proactive steps a company can take to avoid becoming subject to a whistleblower complaint.
The Firm's government contracts, litigation and white collar attorneys have extensive experience in investigating, defending and negotiating claims under the FCA. These attorneys ensure that the government contractor works proactively with the relevant suspension and debarment people from the outset, to avert early suspension and assure any settlement satisfies their interests and avoids debarment. Moreover, our attorneys have experience in protecting against follow-on claims by state and local governments pursuant to their own false claims statutes and for any shareholder litigation that may result.
- Led numerous settlements for top aircraft manufacturer in FCA qui tam actions without any suspension or debarment for the company.
- Convinced the U.S. government in numerous qui tam cases not to intervene, ultimately leading to the dismissal of the cases.
- Represented large engineering and infrastructure corporation in qui tam and False Claims investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office related to alleged time card fraud at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Eastern Washington. Obtained a civil settlement and Non-Prosecution Agreement for the company.
- Represented large engineering and infrastructure corporation in qui tam and False Claims investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office related to liquid petroleum gas installation issued during Hurricane Katrina recovery. The government declined to intervene.
- Represent regional hospital in qui tam action being investigated by the Nevada Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office relating to alleged False Claims Act violations involving Medicare and Medicaid. The government declined to intervene.
- Represent Fortune 500 health care provider in federal criminal and civil investigation relating to alleged False Claims, Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law violations.
- Represented subsidiary of Fortune 500 company in protective equipment industry in civil FCA investigation and negotiated settlement on a non-FCA basis.
- Represented company in FCA qui tam suit resulting in pre-trial dismissal of the suit.
- Represented New York City hospital in FCA qui tam suit.
- Represented medical laboratory in criminal and civil Anti-Kickback Statute investigation conducted by Main DOJ and the EDNY. No criminal charges were brought.
- Represented company in criminal FCA investigation resulting in no charges being brought against company or individuals.
- Represented environmental testing company in debarment negotiations with EPA resulting in no debarment for the company.
- Represent former executive director of hospice company in FCA investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the N.D. Ga. relating to Medicare billing and parallel criminal investigation by the same office of alleged Anti-Kickback Statute violations.
- Represent employees of hospice company in qui tam action and FCA investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the M.D. Ga and DOJ Civil Division related to Medicare billing. The Government recently declined to intervene.
- Represent employees of national home health care company in FCA investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the N.D. Ga. and DOJ Civil Division related to Medicare billing.
- Represented Fortune 50 company in FCA qui tam suit and government investigation.
- Represented defense contractor in FCA investigation by the Department of Defense-Inspector General, DOJ Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of S.C.. After a lengthy investigation, the Government declined to file suit.
- Represented defense contractor in qui tam action filed in the S.D. Ga. involving allegations of billing for services not provided. The Government declined to intervene and the case was settled with the relator on favorable terms.
- Represented radiology practice in FCA investigation and related criminal investigation involving allegations that claims were submitted to Medicare for services that were not provided.
- Represented eye surgical center in FCA investigation and related criminal investigation.