Working for Justice

Uncle Sam Needs You to Be a Whistleblower: A Simple Primer on the Federal and State False Claims Acts

Posted July 2nd, 2018 by in Whistleblower Law.

What is a Whistleblower?

A Whistleblower is a person who informs the federal and/or state government about illegal and fraudulent behavior that causes the government to pay money to an individual or business that is not entitled to receive those government funds. For assisting the government in uncovering fraud, the Whistleblower receives between 15% to 30% of the amount of money that the government recovers as a result of the whistleblower’s case

What is Fraudulent Behavior?

Fraudulent behavior is any action that causes the federal and/or state government to use taxpayer funds to pay money to an individual or business through false or misleading information.

Examples of Potential Fraudulent Behavior:

1. When an individual or company enters into a contract with a government agency and violates the terms of the contract by intentionally charging the government higher costs than the government contract provides without the government’s knowledge or approval;
2. When a contract requires that a specific product be provided and the seller, without informing the government, provides a different, cheaper, or inferior product than that required by the contract without the government’s knowledge or prior approval;
3. When an individual or company violates the Trade Agreements Act by selling the government products from countries with which the United States government does not have a trade agreement. For example, when a company knowingly sells the federal government products made in China, a country with which the United States government does not have a Trade Agreement, that may constitute fraudulent behavior;
4. When a medical provider—such as a physician, nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, ambulance service, medical laboratory or medical supplies provider—requests payment from the federal government through the Medicare program or from the state government through the Medicaid program for: (1) services that were not provided; or (2) by billing multiple times for a service or product that was only provided one time.
5. When an individual or company bills the federal government for medical devices like wheelchairs, private hospital beds, crutches, or nebulizers that are not prescribed by a physician or are never delivered to a patient.
6. When a company enters into a contract with the federal government to build or repair a federal facility but fails to pay its employees the regional wage rates required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
7. When individuals and or companies pay “financial kickbacks” to medical providers like physicians, hospitals and nursing homes to encourage the use of their product or service.

If you believe you have information that could lead to monetary recovery under the False Claims Act, contact an experienced qui tam lawyer today. The law firm of Sandford Heisler Sharp—with offices in Washington, DC, New York City, Baltimore, Maryland, Nashville, Tennessee, San Francisco, California and San Diego, California—specializes in representing Whistleblowers in Federal and State False Claims Act cases.

Altomease Kennedy

Altomease Kennedy

Altomease R. “Al” Kennedy is an Of Counsel in the Washington, DC office of Sanford Heisler Sharp. Ms. Kennedy’s long history of successful representation of False Claims Act whistleblowers makes her particularly effective when working for clients in cases under investigation by the United States government. Learn More

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