Examples of False Claims Act violations show the penalties are enormous. But do examples do us any good? It depends on the situation. Many times people learn far better by example than anything else. When you are trying to learn the tango, watching a couple dance with passion teaches more than any book. But when it comes to fraud violations, the examples are frightening.
The False Claims Act exists to punish people who commit fraud against the government. This fraud exists when companies bill the government for services that didn’t take place or overcharge for materials. Billing for services not delivered, overcharging for material goods, failing to provide information related to products or services and charging for skilled professionals who did not perform the work are all examples violations.
Although the law has existed since the Civil War days, Congress made amendments in 1986. The changes allow ordinary citizens to file complaints on behalf of the government. These citizens are the whistleblowers and can receive significant rewards.
Whistleblowers usually work for the company they report for fraud. The False Claims Act protects the whistleblower from retaliation by that company. Whistleblowers that make a complaint of fraud might experience harassment at work. Employers can deny benefits or promotions. Whistleblowers can even lose their jobs. The False Claims Act makes those actions illegal. It also provides a financial reward for whistleblowers.
What Are the Most Common Examples of False Claims Act Violations?
● Most False Claims Act violations are in the healthcare and medical industries. Examples include people who lie to Medicare or Medicaid, facilities that bill for services they did not provide, or those that inflate the cost of the services they did get. They may even lie about who is providing services. The company bills the government for skilled professionals but uses non-professionals instead.
● Drug companies can often be huge offenders of False Claims Act violations. A good example is company salespeople that offer incentives to doctors. Incentives include kickbacks and gifts to the doctors in exchange for using the company’s drugs. Kickbacks can include elaborate vacations and other perks.
● Dental fraud is another example. Dentists claim payments for services they have not completed. For example, a hygienist performs a teeth cleaning, but the bill indicates the dentist did the work and charged his rate.
● More serious examples of healthcare fraud can involve nursing home care or hospice care. The administration may charge for care not given or unnecessary care. The company charges the government for procedures and tests, even though they did not perform the work. Hospice owners may provide care to people who do not need hospice level care.
What Are the Different Types of Violations that the False Claims Act Covers?
Medical and healthcare issues are the most common breaches of the False Claims Act. But there are other violations as well. Here are some examples of False Claim Act Violations:
● Scams that offer free grants for education
● Construction companies working on state highways claim for materials not used
● Business kickbacks or rewards
● Claiming unused materials or labor from defense forces
● Giving untrue information when applying for a government grant or program
● Using lower quality materials than contracted and billed for
● Giving false information to the Department of Veteran Affairs
● Government staff claiming pay for hours that they did not work
● Buying or taking property that belongs to the government
The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers. Examples of retaliation include people losing their jobs because they made complaints, denial of promotions, or not allowing sick days. In addition, whistleblowers might have trouble getting work somewhere else. The company might spread rumors about the whistleblower’s quality of work. They may have them blackballed throughout their industry. All these are violations of the False Claims Act.
What Should You Do If Your Company Is Violating the False Claims Act?
You should consult an attorney experienced in violations of the False Claims Act. They will be able to tell you if your company is breaking the law and committing fraud. They can show you several examples of False Claims Act violations resulting in prosecution. They will also know how to protect you against any retaliation by your employer.
You must report any violations of the False Claims Act that you see. Your attorney will protect you from retaliation. If your allegations result in a conviction, you may receive a huge reward. Contact the skilled False Claims Act attorneys at Bothwell Law Group by calling 770.643.1606 today. We will sit down with you and discuss examples of False Claims Act violations, so you can move forward with confidence.