Our government operates and relies on taxpayer dollars. With a massive budget and thousands of programs, agencies, and the U.S. military to manage, the government is often scammed out of money.
Criminals and unscrupulous individuals and companies use schemes and lies to take advantage of government programs to put taxpayer money in their own pockets. When these fraudsters defraud the government, they are really stealing from you, the taxpayer.
Standing up for what’s right takes courage and whistleblowers are the brave individuals who decide to come forward and provide inside information and evidence of scams committed against the government.
What Violations Can be Reported Under the False Claims Act?
It is illegal:
- to knowingly present to the federal government a false or fraudulent claim for payment,
- to knowingly use a false record or statement to get a claim paid by the federal government,
- to conspire with others to get a false or fraudulent claim paid by the federal government,
- or to knowingly use a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay money or transmit property to the federal government.
Typically, we handle cases involving Electronic Health Record (EHR) fraud, HUBZone or small business fraud, and Patient Assistance Programs fraud. We also seek information about pill mills and chain pharmacies that contribute to the opioid crisis in our country.
Contact an Attorney
The government protects whistleblowers through the federal False Claims Act. The law protects whistleblowers from being fired, demoted, harassed or discriminated against. Whistleblowers should contact an attorney to ensure their protection in these cases.
With more than 30 years of experience in Whistleblower Qui Tam cases, the attorneys on Baron & Budd’s whistleblower representation team have represented some 70 clients in government fraud cases returning over $5.4 billion to federal and state agencies, with whistleblower recovery shares as high as 49%. They are ready to help if you feel you have the evidence needed in order to pursue a whistleblower lawsuit. Please call (866) 401-5971 or complete the online form for more information.
What to Expect in a Whistleblower Case
- Identify fraud. The first step in any whistleblower case starts with you. Whistleblowers are usually employees or industry insiders who notice that a company is engaging in fraud.
- Contact an attorney. The process of reporting fraud against the government—and maximizing your share of the government’s recovery in a successful enforcement action—is complex and can be difficult to navigate. If you have evidence of fraud against the government, you should contact an experienced whistleblower attorney to help guide you through the process and file a complaint on your behalf.
- Case evaluation. Once you contact our attorneys, we will conduct a thorough evaluation of your case. We will consider all of the relevant legal and factual issues to determine whether your case will likely be successful, what claims to pursue, and where to file the complaint.
- File a complaint. Cases brought under the False Claims Act and its state-law counterparts are filed in federal or state court. These lawsuits are filed under seal, which means they remain a secret to everyone except the judge and government prosecutors while the government investigates the case. You might also have claims under specialized statutes which permit whistleblowers to file an administrative complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
- Government investigation. Once a complaint is filed, the government will investigate the case to determine whether the complaint has merit and whether the government wishes to pursue an enforcement action. This process can be extremely lengthy, sometimes taking several years. Although this long wait can be frustrating, an experienced whistleblower attorney will have close relationships with the government prosecutors and investigators who are handling the case, and will be able to keep you updated at every step of the process.
- In a case brought under the False Claims Act or its state-law counterparts, after the government completes its investigation, the case will be unsealed and made public. At this point, the government has an opportunity to “intervene” and take over the case. If the government intervenes in the case, the government has primary responsibility for litigating the case against the fraudster. If the government declines to intervene, the whistleblower has two options: either dismiss the complaint and walk away from the case, or litigate the case against the fraudster. An experienced whistleblower attorney can walk you through all of your options and help you make an informed decision.
- Conclusion. The ultimate goal of any whistleblower case is to recover money from the company or individual who defrauded the government. Usually, whistleblower cases settle out of court, but they sometimes go to trial. If the government intervenes in your case, you are entitled to a share of 15% to 25% of the amount recovered. If the government declines to intervene in your case, you are entitled to a share of 25% to 30% of the amount recovered.
Get a Confidential Evaluation of Your Case
The attorneys at Baron & Budd will help you in the fight to combat fraud and win. If you feel you have evidence of fraud against the government, please call or complete the online form. We can answer your questions and explain what to expect as we help you navigate this process.
Please understand that contacting us does not mean that you have established an attorney-client relationship with Baron & Budd, P.C.