Articles Posted in Whistleblowers and Qui Tam Lawsuits

daniel-frank-201417-copy-300x200One mistake that many Medicare recipients make is assuming that all their basic medical needs are covered under Medicare. In fact, there are a lot of commonly needed medical services that Medicare does not pay for. By becoming informed about the coverage gaps in your Medicare policy, you are not only preventing yourself from any surprises when you receive your healthcare bill, you are also increasing your ability to detect any fraudulent billing schemes from your healthcare provider or anyone else who tries to tell you that services not covered by Medicare are actually covered. If you do detect any violations by your healthcare provider or employer relating to Medicare billing, contact the whistleblower attorneys at Willoughby Brod immediately.

Dental Care

Even though every individual requires regular dental cleanings, and many Medicare recipients find themselves requiring dentures, Medicare does not pay for these basic dental needs. The only dental care that Medicare may pay for is dental care required while hospitalized as a result of an emergency.

kyle-glenn-629501-unsplash-1-copy-300x200As a whistleblower who has filed a qui tam case, your goal is to convince the government to prosecute your case. However, this is usually not an easy task. In fact, there are many situations in which the government may choose to dismiss your False Claims Act (“FCA”) claim, and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has outlined seven circumstances under which your qui tam claim may be dismissed. If you believe you have a strong qui tam claim, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about the strength of your case and your options moving forward.

False Claims Act

Section 3730(c)(2)(A) of the False Claims Act provides the following: “The Government may dismiss the action notwithstanding the objections of the person initiating the action if the person has been notified by the Government of the filing of the motion and the court has provided the person with an opportunity for a hearing on the motion.”

chris-greenhow-662446-unsplash-copy-300x225While whistleblowers sometimes get a bad rap as “snitches,”the opposite in fact is true. By revealing their employers’ illegal actions, whistleblowers help society in ways that only whistleblowers can. If you have any doubts about whether you should blow the whistle on your employer’s illegal actions, contact the whistleblower attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about the ways in which whistleblowers help society and the ways in which you can contribute to that cause.

  1. Whistleblowers help citizens save money.

From 1986-2016, recoveries made from whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act alone totaled over $28 billion. That is $28 billion that could have ended up in the hands of fraudsters rather than back in citizens’ pockets. By blowing the whistle on fraudulent acts, whistleblowers not only protect those who are directly harmed by the fraud but also send a message to fraudsters that the actions they wish to engage in are unacceptable and will not go undetected.

jonathan-perez-409943-copy-300x200One of the most common types of healthcare fraud in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA) is pharmaceutical fraud. It is also one of the most highly reported types of healthcare fraud, with over $4.5 billion of financial penalties issued from qui tam lawsuits in 2012 alone. While whistleblowers are important to the healthcare industry in general, it is clear that their contribution to the pharmaceutical sector has been huge. If you suspect that you have witnessed pharmaceutical fraud, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about your options moving forward.

What is Pharmaceutical Fraud?

Pharmaceutical fraud involves illegal actions that pharmaceutical companies engage in that violate the FCA or CFCA and result in false claims to insurers and Medicare/Medicaid. There are several predominant types of pharmaceutical fraud, which are highlighted below.

rene-bohmer-430927-unsplash-copy-200x300One common concern that holds people back from becoming whistleblowers is the fear that they will face discipline for being involved in the same fraud they are now reporting. Sometimes employees feel coerced by their employer into partaking in fraudulent actions, and other times the employee may have been the one to spearhead the fraud. In both cases, if you have had a change of heart, and not only do you no longer wish to participate in the fraud, but you want to put an end to it altogether, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about what steps you should take next.

When You Participated in the Fraud but Did Not Spearhead it

Both the False Claims Act (FCA) and the California False Claims Act (CFCA) want to afford whistleblowers the maximum protection possible so as not to deter people from coming forth as a whistleblower. Therefore, in most circumstances, a whistleblower who partook in the fraudulent act they are now reporting will not face any penalties for participating in the fraud.

dylan-nolte-576808-unsplash-copy-300x200Whistleblowers are one of the most misunderstood groups of people out there. From an outsider’s perspective, it can be difficult to understand why someone would want to be a whistleblower – and that is the first problem. Whistleblowers hardly ever choose to become whistleblowers. They happen to encounter situations that, in their mind, call for a solution that will promote justice and better society. If any of the myths below resonate with you, read on to find out why it is a myth, and what the truth really is.

Myth #1: Whistleblowers are disloyal.

Oftentimes, whistleblowers are referred to as “snitches” and disloyal employees, but quite the opposite is true. Whistleblowers are oftentimes the most loyal employees at a company.

benjamin-child-90768-300x200Reporting your boss for engaging in unlawful conduct at work not only requires courage but also thick skin. While some will undoubtedly tout you as a hero as soon as you blow the whistle, others may not be as friendly or supportive. You should prepare yourself for the worst, from your employer as well as from the public, should you decide to blow the whistle on your employer. Despite the risks of whistleblowing outlined below, however, remember that you are contributing to justice and ultimately contributing positively to society when you report illegal conduct. If you are unsure, nervous, or scared about how best to proceed, speak with one of the lawyers at Willoughby Brod, and they will be able to help you decide what is best for you.

Employer Retaliation

The biggest risk of whistleblowing is employer retaliation. California law prohibits any form of employer retaliation toward whistleblowers, but many employers try to do it anyway. Many think that if they do it in subtle ways, like slowly pushing the employee out of their role or finding another reason to demote them or decrease their pay, that there will be no consequences to them. From an even less straightforward angle, employers and fellow employees may start to become hostile toward the employee, spreading rumors about the employee, scheduling meetings only when the employee is unavailable, or ignoring the employee in social settings. However, this type of behavior is illegal. If you have been retaliated against by your employer, contact our attorneys immediately so that we can help you fight for your rights.

max-bender-262783-unsplash-copy-300x199As we do with almost everything in life, we weigh the risks against the rewards when deciding whether or not to blow the whistle on a company that we catch engaging in criminal acts. It can be easy to let our fears overtake us and prevent us from reporting crimes against the False Claims Act (FCA) or the California False Claims Act (CFCA), but there are many other factors to consider when weighing the pros and cons of whistleblowing. If you believe you have witnessed corporate fraud in violation of the FCA or CFCA, contact an experienced California whistleblower attorney immediately (time is of the essence in whistleblower cases) to learn more about the pros and cons to whistleblowing in your particular case.

Pros of Whistleblowing

  • You will finally be heard. If you witness fraud in your workplace, there is usually no sense in reporting the fraud to your employer. First, your employer is likely the one behind the fraud, so reporting it to your employer will only make things worse for you. Second, if you work for a large corporation or government, pushing through the bureaucracy to get your voice heard might be a bigger feat than you are prepared to take on alone. With a whistleblower attorney on your side, your voice will be heard and acted upon.

hannah-olinger-549280-unsplash-copy-200x300If you are considering filing a whistleblower case in California, you are probably wondering what the process looks like and how long it will take. Unfortunately there is not a clear-cut answer to how long a whistleblower case can take, as there are so many factors that can influence the length of the case. While the steps below are a general outline of the life of a whistleblower case, the only way to get a clear picture of what your case will look like and how long it will take is to consult with an experienced whistleblower attorney in your area.

Step 1: File the whistleblower complaint.

The first step is to file your whistleblower complaint. In order to file a successful whistleblower complaint, you want to have gathered as much evidence as possible. Once you gather all the evidence you can gather, it typically will take your attorney several months to pull together all the information and formulate a convincing whistleblower complaint. However, the length of time it takes for your attorney to draft your complaint depends on the following factors:

kristina-flour-185592-unsplash-copy-300x192One of the most crucial parts of filing a whistleblower or qui tam lawsuit is evidence gathering. The more evidence you have of the fraud you are alleging, the stronger your case is and the more likely the government is to intervene. However, gathering evidence is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes there are crucial pieces of evidence needed in your case that you do not already have but that you have the potential to obtain. In this situation, you will want to make sure you go about collecting evidence in a lawful and ethical fashion. After all, the last thing you want is to break the law while you are reporting someone else for breaking the law.

Stay Quiet

The most important piece of advice is to stay quiet. Do not talk about the fraud you are alleging with your co-workers, friends, or family. Even though it is illegal for employers in California to retaliate against whistleblowers, plenty of employers do it anyway. Not only is losing your job during this time damaging to your personal life, but it is damaging to your case, as well. Without the access you previously had to the company, it will be nearly impossible for you to continue gathering evidence to support your claim.