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Things to Remember



Video Transcript

This is a complicated field of law: choose a lawyer with experience of the False Claims Act.

You may not be the only person with this information: once you decide to go forward, do so without delay.  If someone files a case before yours, you may be too late.

You may be tempted to go to the newspapers with your information: do not make your information public if you wish to file a case.

The False Claims Act only covers fraud on the government: if it is not public money, it is not a False Claims Act case.

The False Claims Act Law Firm, Delaney Kester LLP, Boston, LA

 

The False Claims Act

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) makes it possible for members of the public to file qui tam lawsuits against individuals or companies who defrauded the federal or certain states’ governments. In this way whistleblowers may recover the money which the government has lost.  Many whistleblowers (known as relators) are employees or former employees of the fraudulent parties but may also be customers, outside contractors, or even patients.

The FCA was originally enacted during the Civil War because unscrupulous defense contractors sold the Union Army defective rifles and ammunition and sick pack animals. President Abraham Lincoln pioneered the legislation and in 1863 the False Claims Act or “Lincoln Law” was enacted.

Today, unscrupulous defense contractors are still defrauding the government; with reports of ineffective body armor; kickbacks for supply contracts; and defective helicopters.  Such fraud is also rampant in the supply of pharmaceuticals; off-label marketing; kickbacks to doctors in the form of lucrative speaking engagements and all expense paid weekends in the sun; as well as defective medical devices.

The FCA makes a defendant liable for three times the government’s losses plus a fine for each false claim. Congress decided to give whistleblowers a share of the recoveries that result from qui tam lawsuits to give people a strong incentive to step forward and take the personal and professional risks involved in reporting fraud. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are entitled to up to 30 percent of the government's damages.

There are innumerable ways in which the federal and states’ governments are defrauded, here are some of the most common scenarios:

Video Transcript




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