False Claims Act
(FRAUD AGAINST THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT)
If you are employed by a company that is performing services for the United States government or any federal agency under a contract with the government and you are aware of the fact that the services are not being performed as required in the contract or that the product being manufactured is being compromised or deficient in any manner, you occupy a unique position which may entitle you to a substantial financial recovery by reporting these facts. In some cases you do not have to be an employee of such a company as you may be permitted to bring a claim based on second-hand knowledge of the situation. In rare instances, even a government employee may bring an action under the False Claims Act.
The False Claims Act is a federal statute enacted to provide incentives to individuals who become aware of and report fraud committed against the United States. If your company has a contract with the federal government then it is either paid for the services it performs during or after performance. Each time your employer bills the government for performing those services, it is representing that the services have been performed in accordance with the terms of the contract. If the services were not performed as such, then each claim for payment submitted to the government is a false claim as the government is not receiving the represented performance under the contract. You can disclose these facts by bringing a lawsuit on behalf of the United States for reimbursement of money paid to your employer pursuant to the contract as well as civil penalties based on each submitted false claim. If a recovery is made through court or settlement, you may be entitled to a percentage of that recovery.
The typical industries that have governmental contracts the breach of which might support a False Claims Act action are defense manufacturers, medical laboratories, medical providers submitting false Medicare reimbursement requests and other improper billing for medical procedures to the United States, companies working under federal grants and all other federal contractors. Recently, a number of cases have been brought under the False Claims Act by individuals aware of inadequate or improper care or treatment of residents at nursing homes or other facilities which bill the federal government for all or part of those services. Other cases involve Medicare fraud by billing for fictitious patients or false medical services.
Many states also have False Claims Acts which may entitle you to recover significant financial awards if you report false billing by your company to a state for services that were to be performed but either were not performed or inadequately performed.
I have represented individuals bringing False Claims Act complaints. If you are aware of fraud being committed against the federal government or any state government and would like to discuss your situation with me in confidence, call the Law Offices of Joel C. Golden at (619) 294-7919.
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