Articles Tagged with False Claims Act lawyer

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As a False Claims Act law firm, we are always interested to find out what people know about the law, a fundamental issue given the large role private citizens play in bring False Claims Act (“FCA” or “the Act”) lawsuits.  One of the things we’ve learned is that even the people who are familiar with the law are surprised to learn the wide variety of contexts in which it can apply.  Likewise, its many state counterparts are versatile tools for the fight against fraud.

Overview of the False Claims Act

The Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell University Law School explains that the FCA is a “[f]ederal statute setting criminal and civil penalties for falsely billing the government, over-representing the amount of a delivered product, or under-stating an obligation to the government.”  Although not emphasized in the LII article, false claims only violate the Act if made knowingly, with deliberate ignorance, or willful disregard of the claim’s falsity (see The False Claims Act: A Primer published by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”)).

gavel2A decision handed down by a federal court in New York last week further evidences the government’s commitment to fighting health care fraud.  The court finds the clock begins to run on the duty to return Medicaid and Medicare overpayments (also known as reverse false claims) when the provider is put on notice that an overpayment likely occurred, rejecting the defendants’ position that the period only begins when an overpayment is conclusively proven.  Our health care fraud whistleblowers’ law firm applauds the decision fight back against health care fraud.

Understanding Motions to Dismiss

Before turning to the substance of the ruling, it is worth taking a brief look at legal procedure.  When a complaint is filed, the defendant typically responds with an answer, a paragraph-by-paragraph response.  If the defense believes the claim is entirely without legal merit, they may file a motion to dismiss instead.  One basis is Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) whereby the defendant asserts the complaint should be dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”  In essence, the defendant asserts that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, there is no actionable violation of law.

This week, CNN reported on rampant abuse in the federally-funded programs that help provide job opportunities for the severely disabled.  Sadly, the current investigations are just the latest chapter in a series of problems with fraud and abuse in this area.  If the allegations are true, this is yet another example of scammers taking taxpayer money and using it to line their own pockets rather than to support the noble cause for which it was marked.  Fraud in AbilityOne and other government programs is a serious issue and our government contract fraud law firm works with honest whistleblowers to root out these frauds and return funds to these important initiatives.

DoJ Joins Other Agencies Investigating Work Program for the Disabled

CNN reported last week that the Department of Justice (“DoJ”) has joined several other government offices investigating allegations of fraud involving AbilityOne, the leading federally-funded program helping the blind and severely disabled find work, and SourceAmerica, the nonprofit agency that manages the program.  AbilityOne uses contract2some $3 billion of taxpayer money annually to fund contracts nationwide.  In order to hold an AbilityOne contract, blind and/or seriously disabled individuals unable to hold another job must perform 75% or more of the company’s work.