Miami False Claims Act Attorneys
In 1863, President Lincoln signed the False Claims Act to provide a means to go after government contractors who were engaging in fraudulent billing practices during the American Civil War. This law continues in operation today and is used by government agents and private persons to combat the billions of dollars in fraud perpetrated against the government by private contractors in the defense industry, education and housing sectors, agriculture programs, and healthcare industry. If you’re a Florida healthcare executive who has uncovered large-scale billing or coding errors, bulk purchases of inferior or defective products, or other forms of healthcare fraud being perpetrated against Medicare or Medicaid, the Miami healthcare fraud attorneys at Freidin Brown, P.A. can help you blow the whistle and recover a significant monetary award under the False Claims Act.
Civil Actions for False Claims and Healthcare Fraud
The False Claims Act (FCA), also known as the Lincoln Law and sometimes referred to as a Qui Tam action, can be found in Title 31 of the US Code, sections 3729 through 3733. Section 3729 describes what false claims are, while section 3730 allows private persons to bring civil actions for false claims. The complaint is brought in the name of the government, and the government has 60 days to decide whether to intervene and take over the case. False claims in the context of healthcare fraud include actions such as:
- Knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent for payment for approval
- Knowingly making a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim
- Conspiring to commit one of these violations
If the government intervenes, it takes over responsibility for prosecuting the case. The person who brought the complaint can still continue as a party to the complaint and contribute to the prosecution, but the government is in charge and primarily responsible. If the government succeeds in recovering funds in the case, the person who brought the complaint will receive between 15 and 25% of the recovery, depending on the person’s contribution to the case. This amount can be limited to no more than 10% if the information provided by the person came from disclosures that were already made in a public setting or reported in the news media. The person will also be paid his or her attorneys’ fees and costs.
If the government declines to prosecute, the person making the complaint can proceed to prosecute the case personally. If successful, the person receives between 25 and 30% of the amount recovered, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. It’s important to know that in this situation, if the defendant wins, the court can order the plaintiff to pay the defendant’s attorneys’ fees and costs, but only if the court decides the action was clearly frivolous, clearly vexatious, or brought primarily for purposes of harassment.
Even someone who was involved in planning or initiating the fraud can bring a complaint under the False Claims Act, although the court can reduce the person’s share of any recovery as it deems appropriate. If the person is convicted of criminal conduct regarding the fraud, then no share in the recovery is allowed.
Blow the Whistle on Healthcare Fraud in Florida with the Help of our Miami False Claims Act Lawyers
To discuss how to proceed with a potential whistleblower claim or complaint under the False Claims Act, call Freidin Brown, P.A. at 888-677-7764 for a confidential consultation with an experienced and successful Miami false claims act attorney.