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Whistleblower Lawyer Mississippi

Making the decision to blow the whistle on fraud is never easy. Though whistleblowers are important, you may be afraid to speak up once you see something for fear of retaliation. The hesitation is understandable, but we want whistleblowers to know about the protections in place for them and the good they can do by letting someone know what is happening. Fraud committed against the government takes advantage of not only the government and its programs but citizens and hardworking taxpayers as well.

Whistleblowers may not always have the whole story. They may have noticed a pattern in their workplace that seems “off,” but might not be a hundred percent sure why. A qualified Mississippi qui tam lawyer may be able to help you review the evidence you have and explore your legal options for reporting what you see.

What Kinds of Fraud Exist in Mississippi?

“Fraud” is a broad term that can cover anything from phone scams to serious white-collar crimes. At Tycko & Zavareei LLP, we specialize in assisting people blowing the whistle on fraud against the federal and state governments and affiliated programs. Here are some of the common types of fraud we help Mississippi whistleblower lawyers report:

  • Healthcare fraud. Healthcare fraud usually involves one of the following government-funded programs: Medicare, Medicaid, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. All are designed to help certain groups access health care where they otherwise might have trouble. Medicare is designed for seniors (ages 65 and over) and Medicaid is for those under a certain income bracket. VA health care is offered to veterans of the U.S. military. Healthcare providers may commit fraud against these programs by misrepresenting information or even performing unnecessary healthcare services in order to receive more money from Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA than they should.
  • Securities fraud. Securities fraud may include bribing foreign government officials in order to generate or retain business, which is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Violations of securities laws are another example, which may include issuing false or misleading statements about investments or manipulating the market.
  • Tax fraud. Falsifying tax documents, misreporting income, tax evasion using foreign accounts, and more strategies to ensure that one pays a lower amount in taxes or receives more tax breaks than they should are all forms of tax fraud.

How Do I Spot Fraud in the Workplace?

Fraud might not always be immediately obvious. You might notice the signs, but pass them off as something else. When a business is trying to hide fraudulent activity from not only the government but their own employees, they can be quite tricky about it. Here are a few ways that fraud might become apparent in the workplace.

  • Inconsistencies or errors with billing. Billing can be a complex task, and sometimes mistakes are made. However, someone making the same errors over and over may be a sign that something is not right, especially if they are errors that would benefit the business if not corrected.
  • Medical miscoding. For healthcare facilities or medical offices specifically, coding is an important part of their business and their day. Since medical treatments can be complex and there are so many possible treatments, medical facilities use a universal alphanumeric coding system to bill insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid for services provided. Coding errors can and do happen, but consistent errors that result in higher amounts being charged can be a sign of fraud.
  • Inaccurate statements sent to the government. Lying on grant applications, falsifying information on proposals for new government contracts, underreporting income on tax returns, and making any other type of false claim to the government are all examples of fraud.
  • Suspicious vacations and perks from pharmaceutical companies. If you notice that doctors or other healthcare workers that you work with are receiving large gifts from pharmaceutical companies or medical device manufacturers, there may be an illegal kickback scheme happening.

What Can I Do If I Notice Fraud?

If you notice suspicious activity happening in your workplace, you do not have to ignore the red flags or assume that they are nothing. The best thing to do is to contact a whistleblower lawyer in Mississippi and talk with them about your case. A qualified qui tam lawyer will be able to take a look at the evidence provided and help you figure out whether your evidence is sufficient to launch an investigation.

Financial Rewards For Mississippi Whistleblowers

The False Claims Act, enacted in the 1800s and still in effect today, established protections and rewards for whistleblowers. The federal False Claims Act makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for speaking up against fraud. It also incentivizes people with information about fraud to come forward by offering a financial reward. If a whistleblower comes forward with information that leads to a successful lawsuit against a company committing fraud, that person may be entitled to a reward of up to 30% of the settlement amount.

While Mississippi does not have a state equivalent to the False Claims Act—meaning that whistleblowers can only file lawsuits for fraud committed against the federal government and not the state government—it does reward whistleblowers for reporting Medicaid fraud under the Medicaid and Human Services Transparency and Fraud Control Act.

How Can a Mississippi Whistleblower Lawyer Help?

To file a qui tam lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act, Mississippi whistleblowers are legally required to have the assistance of a lawyer. This is largely for privacy purposes, as the qui tam lawyer will file the lawsuit on your behalf in order to keep your name confidential. Tycko & Zavareei LLP has been representing whistleblowers for years and we know how to protect your privacy while putting a stop to fraud. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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Our experienced qui tam attorneys are available for a confidential, no-cost, no-commitment, initial evaluation of your case. Call us now at (202) 973-0900, or begin the process by completing our Confidential Case Evaluation Form.
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