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Fraud, False Claims and Qui Tam

The federal False Claims Act (FCA) is a very complex area of the law with a number of unique provisions that an inexperienced attorney may overlook or misinterpret. The attorneys at Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot have the backgrounds and experience to assist any company or health care provider in properly defending this type of action.

For instance, the FCA is the primary weapon in combating fraud against the federal government. The FCA covers fraudulent claims made against any federal agency, program, contract or grant. Many states have similar laws to protect themselves against fraud. Under the FCA, whistleblowers are permitted to bring cases on behalf of the federal government to recover damages on its behalf.

The FCA incentivizes whistleblowers to report fraud by offering a percentage of any reward recovered from an ensuing lawsuit, generally in the range of 15% to 25%. Under the FCA, the reporting individual is known as the “relator.” The government has the option to either step in and litigate or decline the case. If the government declines to proceed, the relator may continue on behalf of the government. If the relator succeeds, they are entitled to a larger percentage of the recovery (25% to 30%).

Because of the potential for an award of an enormous amount of damages, it is important to retain the services of an experienced law firm such as Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot.