Our qui tam lawyers counsel and defend clients against whistleblower claims filed under the False Claims Act (FCA). The team includes skilled negotiators and litigators who have handled qui tam cases in jurisdictions throughout the country and who understand the complex nuances of the FCA.
Not only do we advise clients on how to comply with the FCA, but our lawyers regularly defend clients in high-stakes whistleblower litigation at the trial and appellate levels. We work with the client to develop a comprehensive litigation strategy that meets the client’s needs and objectives, and then execute that strategy throughout the course of the investigation, discovery, pre-trial motions, negotiation and trial.
The False Claims Act applies to anyone who contracts to provide goods or services directly or indirectly with the federal government or state government and is paid for such goods or services. If a company or individual fails to comply with the FCA, whistleblowers can come forward to bring a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government. Given that failure to comply with the False Claims Act can result in treble damages, mandatory penalties of $5,500-$11,000 per false claim, and attorneys’ fees, the stakes are incredibly high for clients facing such allegations.
We represent clients in a wide range of industries, including environmental, health care, higher education, labor and employment, procurement, securities and corporate governance and telecommunications. We have particular experience representing clients in those industries especially susceptible to qui tam suits, including the health care, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. We have defended clients in fraud and abuse investigations under the Stark Act, anti-kickback statutes, False Claims Act and similar laws, several of which involved grand jury proceedings and qui tam actions. We work hand-in-hand with clients to manage litigation, oversee compliance programs and internal audit processes, and provide advice on pending transactions.
With the Department of Justice’s creation of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force in 2006, extensive government resources have been dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of misconduct involving defective pricing, product substitution, misuse of classified information, false claims, grant fraud, labor mischarging, accounting fraud, fraud involving foreign sales, conflicts of interest and other ethical breaches.
On the non-government purchasing side, sophisticated schemes involving both purchasers and vendors can make it difficult for companies to ensure compliance at a time of increased government scrutiny and corporate accountability. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience representing government contractors and their employees, as well as companies and institutions in general commerce, in matters involving allegations of procurement fraud.
The following are some of our notable qui tam representations in a variety of industries:
- Defending a solvent recycler in a criminal investigation and parallel civil whistleblower suit arising out of alleged improper discharges.
- Collaborating with Medicare carriers and intermediaries, U.S. attorneys general, Consumer Protection Units and National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units of state attorneys general and the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) to defend clients and negotiate settlements.
- Litigating one of the first federal court proceedings involving a physician civil monetary penalty case.
- Handling charitable trust, charity care, medical staff and managed care, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement actions, and leading the defense of qui tam suits and related investigations.
- Litigating multiple state attorneys general actions arising from the sale and distribution of prescription drugs, involving allegations of Medicaid Fraud Acts, state Unfair Practices Acts, RICO violations, consumer fraud, breach of warranty and negligence.
- Counseling employers on the rules of hybrid entities, “ownership” of health care data, privacy and firewalls and whistleblower protections and investigations.
- Representing several schools in qui tam actions relating to Title IV funds.
- Representing a university alleged to have violated Department of Education rules by paying bonuses to its recruiters.
- Representing an academic medical center in a qui tam action under Medicare Fraud and Abuse laws relating to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) organ transplant program.
Labor and Employment
- Successfully defending several qui tam and whistleblower claims brought under the Federal False Claims and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts.
Securities and Corporate Governance
- Representing the audit committee of a NYSE-listed company, investigating a whistleblower complaint charging improprieties in the accounting at a subsidiary.
- Conducting Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower investigations.
- Representing corporate stakeholders, including boards of directors, audit committees and general counsel, in connection with confidential and independent internal investigations of suspected employee misconduct, often brought to the company’s attention through whistleblower complaints.
Procurement and Government Contracting
- Conducting an internal investigation on behalf of a Fortune 1000 telecommunications hardware company in connection with allegations of inflated inventories and vendor kickbacks.
- Conducting an internal investigation on behalf of a major educational institution in connection with allegations of fraud in the procurement of construction services.
- Conducting an internal investigation on behalf of a computer manufacturer and representing that company in connection with a federal procurement fraud investigation involving computer sales to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
- Conducting internal investigations for a prime contractor on federal courthouse construction projects in connection with alleged Anti-Kickback Act violations and alleged procurement fraud, and representing that company in separate state criminal investigations.
- Representing the general manager of a defense contractor in connection with a Department of Defense/Department of Justice investigation into an alleged conspiracy to circumvent manufacturing, testing and quality assurance requirements in the production of nuclear, biological and chemical filters for use in military tanks.
- Representing a worldwide heavy construction company in connection with allegations of bid rigging on United States Agency for International Development (USAID) construction contracts.
- Defending a financial company accused of defrauding the government of billions of dollars while overseeing U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) sale of mortgage loans to the private sector. The case was tried, after which we obtained a favorable settlement in which our client recovered more money than the whistleblower.
- Defending a large international construction company accused of defrauding the government on a project involving construction of a water and sewage system in Cairo, Egypt.
- Representing one of the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S. in an alleged false certification claiming no abandoned property with regard to unused prepaid calling card balances.
Selected as a leading law firm for commercial litigationChambers USA - 2015
Recommended for litigationBenchmark Litigation - 2015