False Claims Act and Qui Tam Defense
The False Claims Act (FCA) is one of the federal government’s most powerful fraud-fighting tools. Each year, the federal government recovers billions of dollars in judgments and settlements under the FCA.
While the majority of FCA investigations and litigation involve businesses and individuals within the healthcare industry, any individual or business that does business with federal government is subject to FCA enforcement. This includes not only healthcare providers, but all types of government contractors and institutes of higher education as well.
The FCA prohibits knowingly submitting a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval to the federal government. The FCA provides various tools for federal investigators to use in investigating potential violations, including Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) for documents, interrogatories, and sworn testimony. Violations of the FCA are punishable by up to treble (3x) damages and significant per-claim penalties. Violations of the FCA could also lead to substantial administrative penalties, including exclusion and debarment.
The FCA also incentivizes private whistleblowers to file private lawsuits — referred to as qui tam lawsuits — by allowing such whistleblowers to collect anywhere between 15 and 30% of the government’s recovery.
Because FCA qui tam lawsuits are filed “under seal,” the first indication that you may be the subject of an FCA lawsuit is the receipt of a CID or some other type of government subpoena or request for information. It is important that you retain counsel before responding to any such inquiry. The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman have years of experience not only defending FCA investigations, but actually litigating FCA cases, including serving as lead defense counsel for the only two FCA cases to ever go to trial in the history of the State of Georgia. Prior to joining private practice, Founding Partner Scott Grubman served as an Assistant United States Attorney, where he investigated and litigated FCA matters on behalf of the DOJ. He knows utilizes his insider’s knowledge and experience to aggressively and effectively defend clients in FCA investigations and litigation.
If you need assistance with defending an FCA investigation or lawsuit, please contact us today.