Understanding the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act allows private citizens to file qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the federal government against a person, company or entity they know to be cheating the government. As compensation for the risk and effort involved in blowing the whistle on government fraud, whistleblowers who file qui tam lawsuits receive a portion of the recovered funds. If you have evidence of fraud against the federal government, an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney can help you understand your rights under the False Claims Act.

Examples of Government Fraud

All of the following are violations of the False Claims Act:

  • Presenting false or fraudulent claims for payment
  • Using a false record or statement to obtain payment
  • Conspiring with others to obtain payment for a false or fraudulent claim
  • Using a false record or statement to avoid paying money or transferring property
  • Billing for undelivered goods or services never rendered
  • Billing for phantom employees or extra hours
  • Double billing
  • Failing to report overpayments
  • Falsifying test results
  • Falsifying records to exaggerate performance
  • Failing to report known product defects
  • Substituting subpar equipment
  • Misrepresenting the value of imported goods
  • Obtaining a contract through kickbacks and bribes
  • Performing unnecessary medical procedures to get Medicare reimbursements
  • Billing at doctor rates for work performed by interns and nurses
  • Billing for unapproved drugs
  • Billing for brand name drugs when generics are given
  • Lying about the wholesale price of prescription drugs
  • Bundling or unbundling billing codes to maximize Medicare reimbursements

Many states also have laws concerning false claims. If you are ready to blow the whistle on fraudulent activity involving a state or federal program or contract, a qualified Los Angeles employment lawyer can help.

Whistleblower Protections

In addition to allowing filers of qui tam lawsuits to receive part of the recovered funds, the False Claims Act may also offer the following protections against employer retaliation:

  • Reinstatement
  • Double back pay
  • Special damages such as litigation costs and attorney fees

State employment laws might also protect whistleblowers. If you are thinking about filing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, contact a knowledgeable Los Angeles employment attorney today to learn about the applicable time limits, where to file your claim and how to protect your legal rights.

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