Scroll Top
Bothwell Law Group 304 Macy Dr, Roswell, GA 30076

The False Claims Act

What Is The False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act is the number one tool for fighting fraud against the Government.

Whistleblowers usually risk a lot when they come forward with information about the misuse of Government funds.

When the False Claims Act was amended in 1986, it strengthened its qui tam provisions enabling ordinary citizens to sue wrongdoers on behalf of the Government (and sharing in a percentage of the recovered damages).  Many people working for companies receiving money from the Government or others with information about the misuse of Government funds found themselves in need of a False Claims Act Attorney for advice and guidance.

If you’ve witnessed misuse, fraud, or waste of Government funds and want to do something about it, the Bothwell Law Group is here to help.

The Bothwell Law Group False Claims Act law firm is now one of only a handful of firms who exclusively handle False Claims Act cases and cases under related spin-off programs. Hiring a specialist in this area is critical—the statute and interpretative case law is filled with traps for the unwary or uninitiated attorney, like the first to file rule, the public disclosure bar, and original source issues.  The Bothwell Law Group has helped courts all over the country to understand the limits of these and other defenses and have helped nationally to make law in the appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

A Qui Tam lawyer at Bothwell Law Group is well positioned to investigate and help you present your case to the Government, giving you the best chance at intervention. And if the Government does not intervene in your case, the skilled and experienced litigators at Bothwell Law Group, one of the only firms in the country who regularly litigate declined cases to successful conclusions, are experts on issues in declined cases such as surviving a challenge under Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, assimilating and reviewing massive document and ESI productions, and negotiating Relator’s Share issues.

Medical Fraud Whistleblower Attorney Mike Bothwell was among the first attorneys to file a False Claims Act case after the 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act revitalized the statute. He pioneered the use of the FCA to prosecute healthcare fraud by filing one of the first Medicare FCA cases – now widely regarded as a “garden-variety” FCA case.

How To Choose False Claims Act Representation

An attorney experienced navigating The False Claims Act specifically

Experience working with the Government, specifically the Department of Justice

The ability to back litigation during what could be a lengthy legal process

A proven track record of success litigating declined False Claims cases

Proven Experience

Federal False Claims Act claims are among the most complex legal claims in the country. They stretch across multiple substantive areas of the law. They also have more procedural steps to take than a standard legal claim. All attorneys are technically qualified to work in every area of the law. However, the False Claims Act lawyer you choose can make or break your claim. There are a few things you may want to consider looking for in a False Claims Act lawyer.

Medicare is a medical insurance program run by the federal government. It provides health insurance benefits mostly to individuals over the age of 65. However, individuals younger than 65 can sometimes receive benefits. Medicare is important because unlike private health insurance, individuals receive guaranteed benefits at a very low cost.

It is the government, through taxes, that foots the majority of the bill. It’s the government that pays for the bulk of medical services and products. Therefore, Medicare is a prime target for fraud, especially kickbacks.

Medicare & Medicaid

The False Claims Act covers many different types of fraud. This includes Medicare and Medicaid, defense contracting, Government contracts, Government assistance, and more. An attorney will need to be able to show that specific laws relevant to the industry were violated. Therefore, they will need to be familiar enough with the industry to know what evidence to look for and how to get it. An attorney with extensive experience in financial services industry may not know how to analyze medical billing records and build a strong Medicare fraud case.

Retaliation Frequently Asked Questions

I think I have evidence of fraud. Can I take documents from my workplace?

When, where, and what documents or files to take as proof could open you up to problems, so it is vitally important that you contact us as early as possible. Complications include issues with HIPAA-protected information, other privacy laws, confidentiality agreements, protection of trade secrets, and employer property rights. Call us for advice on how to walk the fine line between supporting your claims in a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit and opening yourself up to retaliation.

What if the Government is already investigating the claims?

If you are aware of a Government investigation already occurring, it may be beneficial to you to contact us, especially if the investigation is occurring because of your actions as a whistleblower. Just because the Government is investigating does not mean you are protected from retaliation (and likely, you are not). Moreover, it may deprive you of the right to a Relator’s Share.  There are many other issues that you may not be aware of, such as:

  • The scope of the investigation may not be as broad as your claims.
  • The Government may be investigating claims believing them to be mistakes when you know they were purposeful and fraudulent.
  • An investigation by one agency may not be shared with all the affected agencies. Similarly, a state investigation may not be shared with the federal Government and vice versa.
  • The investigation may be part of a scheduled audit, giving the fraudster a chance to hide information and change documents, keeping the fraud from being discovered.
  • The agency conducting the investigation may not have the same powers or interest that the Department of Justice has with a False Claims Act lawsuit, which threatens much greater sanctions and allows the Government greater access to documents.

It’s also worth noting that a prior investigation is no guarantee of an intervention. We can advise you if there are first to file, public disclosure, or other issues that would make filing a lawsuit inadvisable. However, if you want to put a stop to the fraud, the best way to do that is to contact us to advise you as to whether a False Claims Act suit is in your best interest.

What if I have a friend who can help?

Whether you should bring an action if someone else might be bringing one depends on the situation. We encourage you to call us so that we can advise you as to the best course of action. In some cases, you and another (or others) might bring suit together. Sometimes other people might make a better witness. Sometimes, a friend or other interested person is racing to the courthouse to file a False Claims Act lawsuit before you can, which could create a first to file issue. So, it is important that we discuss the possibility of other interested people as early as possible.

What if they are about to fire me?

The issue of anti-retaliation protection depends on what you have already done and the reasons you believe you might be fired or demoted or some other retaliatory action might be taken against you. It is important that you speak with us immediately so that we can best advise you as to how to set the groundwork for a retaliation case, and how to collect what information you need for your qui tam action, before you are fired and it is too late.  The False Claims Act anti-retaliatory provisions and damages are some of the most generous in the employment arena.

I can’t handle working here anymore. Can I quit?

It is possible (though rare) that even if you quit, you may still have a retaliation lawsuit. It may hamper your case because you would no longer be around to gather information to support your qui tam action. It is best that you talk to us before making a decision so that we can discuss your options, set the groundwork for a potential retaliation claim, and obtain what information we need for a qui tam case before you make any decisions.

They are offering me a severance package/asking me to sign a release of claims against the company. What do I do?

You should never sign a waiver of your rights before consulting with an attorney, but here it is particularly important. You may not want to agree to a minor severance package when you may be entitled to much more. Moreover, a general release may not only waive your right to a retaliation claim, but you may also waive your right to any recovery under a qui tam action. The law on this varies from state to state and it is essential to review this before potentially signing away your rights.  If we think it is in your best interest and that you may not have a successful case, we may advise you to accept the severance package, but you need to be apprised of your options before you sign anything.