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False Claims Act
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, imposes civil liability on any person or entity who submits a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the United States government. In general, the False Claims Act covers fraud involving any federally funded contract or program, with the exception of tax fraud. Major violations under the False Claims Act include: knowingly presenting to the federal government a false or fraudulent claim for payment, knowingly using a false record or statement to get a claim paid by the federal government, conspiring with others to get a false or fraudulent claim paid by the federal government, and knowingly using a false record to conceal or decrease an obligation to pay money or transmit property to the federal government.
The False Claims Act was amended and expanded in 1986, and many companies were then prone to facing allegations that they submitted false claims or made false statements to the United States Government. Penalties include up to $11,000 for each false claim as well as treble damages. These kinds of damages give current and past employees huge financial incentives to bring these type of suits.
Lawyers at The Nevarez Law Firm have the ability to represent clients throughout the investigation phase, and even litigate if needed. We have the ability to handle defective pricing, overcharging on government programs, quality assurance issues, improper royalty payments and Medicare/Medicaid overcharging.
Whistleblower Claims (Quit tam actions)
Qui tam is a legal principal found in the False Claims Act that allows any person or entity, known as whistleblowers, to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government against anyone who uses government funds in a fraudulent way. Qui tam also allows the whistleblowers who filed the suit to receive a portion of any funds that are recovered by the qui tam lawsuit. To be eligible to recover money under the Act, one must file a qui tam lawsuit. A relator (i.e., qui tam plaintiff) receives an award only if, and after, the government recovers money from the defendant as a result of the lawsuit. A relator can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery from the defendant, whether through a favorable judgment or settlement.
Quit tam actions provide incentives to individuals to file claims. Lawyers at The Nevarez Law Firm has the ability to successfully defend our clients against whistleblower claims. We counsel our clients regarding how to manage suspected whistleblowers who encounter performance problems, or in some other manner threaten the security or stability of the business.