Whistleblowers fight fraud and protect taxpayers by exposing fraudulent crimes committed against the government. A party commits fraud by conducting a scheme that defrauds the government or steals money from public programs, ultimately at taxpayers’ expense. Whistleblower attorneys, like us, work with relators and the government to uncover and prosecute fraud.
Whistleblower Lawsuit Protections
Whistleblowers, also referred to as relators, play a huge role in routing out fraud.
They are typically close to the misconduct that is occurring, and at times, can even be responsible for monitoring compliance for their company. While wrongdoers may attempt to lash out, the FCA provides whistleblower protections, shielding relators from retaliation.
More About the False Claims Act and Fraud
The False Claims Act (FCA) was passed during the Civil War to combat war profiteering and provides whistleblower protections to those who report fraudulent activity on behalf of the government. Many states have their own versions of the FCA with similar incentives and protections for whistleblowers. Keeping these types of laws in place is important because it ensures that people with information about wrongdoing will continue to report incidents of fraud, allowing money to flow back to the government and to U.S. taxpayers.
What Are Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawsuits?
The FCA and qui tam laws allow private citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the government and collect a portion of the government’s recovery in the process. Qui tam is a Latin phrase that translates to “he who brings an action for the king as well as himself.” A whistleblower who files suit may receive between 15% and 30% of the amount that the federal government recovers from the lawsuit.
From 1986 to 2018, the FCA has recovered almost $60 billion in taxpayer money, 70% of which was a result of qui tam whistleblowers reporting misconduct. In 2018 alone, relators started 84% of FCA cases, recovering $2.1 billion.
Whistleblowers report a wide variety of misconduct occurring in areas such as healthcare, technology, and other organizations that receive funding from the government. The different types of cases that are prosecuted under the FCA include but are not limited to: billing for services not rendered, double billing, illegal marketing, defective testing of products, and many more. As whistleblower attorneys and qui tam lawyers, we’re proud to represent these relators who play an important role in protecting the government and taxpayers.
Learn more about recent news and cases regarding whistleblowers and fraud with the stories below.
After Settling for Millions, Companies Remain on U.S. High Fraud Risk List
Last year, two dental health companies settled fraud allegations for $5.139 million, becoming the first to be listed as high-risk on the new Fraud Risk Indicator. Even though neither company admitted to any fault, both companies are still classified as high-risk and will face heightened scrutiny. In 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched the Fraud Risk Indicator, which was used to determine the rank of the two dental health companies. The new program is designed to evaluate healthcare providers that have been charged under the FCA and that the agency believes is likely to commit fraud. Each healthcare provider or entity is evaluated based on a continuum and then given a risk rank. Once the OIG determines the provider or entity’s rank on the continuum, the OIG posts the information to the public.
Whistleblower Leads to $5.1M Dental Medical Fraud Settlement
Waters Kraus & Paul client and whistleblower, Dr. Abdul-Majid, brought the two dental companies to the OIG’s attention. The two companies received the high-risk classification after facing allegations of fraud and refused to sign a Corporate Integrity Agreement. The companies were accused of overbilling for simple dental work and billing patients inappropriately for services that were either never performed or medically unnecessary. As a part of the settlement agreement, the OIG determined that the companies required additional monitoring and requested that they sign a Corporate Integrity Agreement. When the companies refused to sign the agreement, the OIG decided they should receive the high-risk rank.
Record $236M Settle Dental Medicaid Fraud Involving Xerox
Medicaid whistleblowers in Dallas filed a lawsuit that resulted in a $235.9 million settlement, the largest single Medicaid fraud related settlement in Texas. The allegations against Xerox Corp. involved conducting fraudulent billing practices. Xerox violated their company contract with the State when unqualified employees approved authorization requests without verifying the medical necessity of the services being requested. The company’s failure to accurately manage the authorization program led to taxpayers funding dental and orthodontic procedures that were medically unnecessary. With the help of whistleblower attorneys at Waters Kraus & Paul, the State proved that the company’s actions compromised the integrity of the Texas Medicaid program.
$1.6M Settlement Reached in Medicare Fraud Case
In 2018, whistleblower attorneys at Waters Kraus & Paul settled a qui tam lawsuit against a medical equipment provider for $1.634 million. Allegations centered around a telemarketing scheme targeting Medicare beneficiaries. The company was accused of conducting a bait and switch scheme that violated Medicare’s guideline against unsolicited telemarketing and the FCA. The scheme involved telemarketers who initially claimed to be selling identity theft protection, but would trick beneficiaries into buying knee and back braces even if they did not need them. Federal prosecutors worked with the whistleblower attorneys at Waters Kraus & Paul, ultimately settling the case and shutting down a scheme that targeted a vulnerable group at the taxpayers’ expense.
How Do We Fight Corporate Greed?
Seek justice on behalf of taxpayers confidentially with the help of our experienced attorneys. Our Dallas, Texas qui tam law firm has battled corporate giants on behalf of taxpayers like you for 20 years, aggressively fighting to hold companies accountable for fraud committed against the government. If you believe you have a government whistleblower case, we can help.