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April 2017 Archives

Qui tam plaintiffs have legal protections

One of the greatest legal tools in the arsenal of the federal government is the False Claims Act, which is often referred to as "Lincoln's Law." This law allows the federal government to combat fraud, which is a difficult undertaking for such a large entity that contracts with myriad parties and other entities. It would be impossible for the federal government to do this without whistleblowers -- and that is what the False Claims Act is all about.

What is actually 'worthless' under the FCA?

One of the key questions in qui tam cases is whether the services the federal government was billed for were “worthless.” Essentially, the question examines whether the entity at issue provided services that were worth less than they should have cost, or whether they had no value whatsoever. This is a question that has vexed a number of appeals courts that have grappled with qui tam cases involving a worthless services theory.

What can motivate a whistleblower?

While national news headlines focus on divisive politics and ineptness, fraud against the federal government remains a pervasive problem. In fact, healthcare based FCA cases have garnered quite a bit of interest from federal officials in the past few years. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice has recovered more than $24 billion in funds from providers, with a majority coming as settlements (and verdicts) based on fraud perpetrated through federal health care programs. Additionally, the Justice Department announced that healthcare related FCA cases would be reviewed by the Criminal Division for prosecution.

What is 'knowing' in False Claims Act cases?

One of the important questions to be answered in litigating False Claims Act cases is how much should the offending entity know about the false billing in order to trigger liability under federal law. Under 31 U.S.C. §3729(b), "knowing" is defined in three instances. This post will highlight these definitions.

Partnership disputes can spawn complex litigation

Businesses face enough issues from the outside world. The last thing that any business wants is an issue internally among executives, partners or employees. This can cause strife among workers and make it much more difficult for a business to achieve what it wants. Unfortunately, internal disputes can arise that dramatically affect a company. Partnership disputes are one form of these internal disputes.

Whistleblowers, don't blow your chance for restitution

Throughout your life, you likely had individuals tell you to report any wrongdoing you may have witnessed. As you got older, you may have found this action more difficult, as certain circumstances made you question whether you should make someone else's actions known. However, when it comes to an employer carrying out unlawful practices, filing a claim may help correct wrongs that could hurt many individuals and entities.

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