False Claims Act and Qui Tam Litigation
Dolley Law, LLC represents clients throughout the country in False Claims Act and qui tam litigation involving claims or concerns about fraudulently billing of the government or withholding of money owed to the government on the basis of false or fraudulent statements. See also Whistleblowing in the Workplace. The False Claims Act is a federal law providing a mechanism for private citizens to bring claims on behalf of the United States government to recover money fraudulently billed to or withheld from the United States. The phrase qui tam refers to the ability of private citizens to sue on behalf of the government. The private citizens who bring such claims are often provided financial incentives by receiving a percentage of the recovery and an award of attorneys' fees.
Fraud against the federal government takes a variety of forms in many different industries, from healthcare-related billing to corporate securities to importing goods to military contracts. Excessive, unnecessary or false billing for products or services is a common area of false claims litigation. Fraud may also result from billing for goods or services never actually provided to the government, or from concealing goods to avoid government taxes or fees. Sometimes, less than perfect business practices may give rise to a mistaken impression of fraud, or there may be one bad actor behind the alleged fraud unbeknownst to corporate leadership.
No matter the situation, we know how to best represent your rights and interests. Whether you believe you have original information regarding these types of situations or have heard concerns or complaints expressed about such a situation, you should know what is involved in a False Claims Act lawsuit. Such information may include knowledge or evidence of false billing submitted to the government, knowledge or evidence of a plan or conspiracy to falsely bill the government, or knowledge or evidence of false statements to the government that result in money owed to the government being wrongfully withheld.
Many False Claims Act cases for false or fraudulent billing are reported by current or former employees with original source information. Our attorneys are aware of the sensitive and confidential nature of these claims and how to handle such information as part of the False Claims Act legal process.
The False Claims Act can be an effective tool to protect the government and taxpayers from fraud against the government. The lawsuit that is filed must be filed under seal by legal counsel to allow the U.S. Attorneys' Office time to further investigate the claim. The government may intervene to pursue the claim based on their own investigation. Whether or not the federal government intervenes, the whistleblower maintains the right to collect a percentage of a recovery. Thus, even if the federal government declines to intervene, the individual may pursue the case on his or her own. If found responsible by a preponderance of evidence, a party may be required to pay treble (i.e., triple) damages. There are also civil penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 for each false claim made.
False Claims Act proceedings can not only be complex, they can carry serious penalties and impose substantial liabilities. It is important to secure legal counsel to understand your rights, obligations and options. Dolley Law, LLC provides knowledgeable legal counsel and representation in a wide variety of circumstances that may implicate or result in False Claims Act or qui tam litigation.
Please feel free to contact attorney Kevin J. Dolley directly regarding qui tam or False Claims Act litigation. He can be contacted directly at 314.645.4100 or by email at Kevin@dolleylaw.com.