The Law Offices of Gregory D. Ferguson, PC

 

Fraud Against the Government


- False Claims Act/Qui Tam

Fraud Against the Government

Is your employer engaging in false billing practices, or overcharging the government for goods or services? The False Claims Act (FCA) allows any person who discovers that a government contractor is defrauding the federal government to report it, and then to sue the wrongdoer in federal court, under very specific procedures, on behalf of the U.S. government. The FCA generally covers fraud involving any federally funded contract or program, with the exception of tax fraud. Some common examples are:

  • A contractor falsifies test results or other information about the quality or cost of products it sells to the government.
  • A health care provider bills Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not provided or were unnecessary, or mischaracterizes the types of services actually provided.
  • A grant recipient charges the government for costs not related to the grant.

In FCA lawsuits, known as qui tam suits, the government has the right to intervene and join the private citizen's lawsuit. If the government is then able to collect from the fraudulent contractor, the law allows the whistleblower to share in the proceeds. If the government declines, the individual may proceed on his or her own. The FCA also contains an anti-retaliation provision that provides protection for those who make FCA-protected disclosures or file a qui tam suit. Usually whomever files first is the "original source" so timing is key. Call us and we'll do our best to ensure that you get there first, while also being protected from termination.