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Washington D.C. Government Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer

As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. sees plenty of interaction with the federal government. Public funds and government contracts are important sources of revenue for many businesses in the area, especially in fields like healthcare and defense.

Unfortunately, attempts to defraud government funds are relatively common. This kind of corruption takes a very real toll on the overall pool of public funds available. It reduces aid for Americans who need to rely on these resources, increases the total cost for taxpayers, and lines the pockets of the unscrupulous at the expense of national wellbeing.

If you have information about ongoing or past attempts to claim improper amounts of government funds, speak to a qualified Washington DC government fraud whistleblower lawyer today. The expert law team at Tycko & Zavareei LLP is available for a confidential consultation to help you understand how best to move forward. You may be entitled to a significant financial award if your information leads to the successful recovery of funds.

Why Should I File a Government Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit?

Qui tam law is an area of law wherein a private citizen, known as a whistleblower or qui tam relator, brings an action on behalf of the government. Qui tam law is one way that the government can recoup funds that have been defrauded or improperly claimed by contractors and other businesses.

In a successful qui tam case, the whistleblower may be entitled to up to 30% of the government’s recovery. After financial penalties are imposed upon guilty parties and defrauded funds are recouped, this amount can range into the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Successful cases often involve exposing massive or ongoing fraud, leading to large payouts for whistleblowers.

For instance, in one recent successful qui tam lawsuit that Tykco & Zavareei LLP first filed in the District of Columbia, the defendant, Advanced Biohealing, Inc. (ABH) was ordered to pay $350 million in settlements to federal and state governments after an alleged kickbacks scheme. The ABH decision remains one of the largest settlements ever awarded in a kickback case, resulting in a significant payout to the whistleblower who first came forward with information.

How Does the False Claims Act Help Fight Washington DC Government Fraud?

Federal law offers certain protections for whistleblowers, as well as the previously mentioned powerful financial incentives. The False Claims Act is a federal statute first passed in 1863. Amended several times throughout the years, the False Claims Act (FCA) now imposes treble damages upon those who knowingly submit false claims to the government for reimbursement.

In addition to being liable for three times the damage done, violators are also subject to stiff financial penalties which are linked to inflation rates. Cases of financial fraud are investigated by the Department of Justice, which investigates information provided by whistleblowers in most cases. In the fiscal year of 2021, the Department of Justice obtained more than $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments using the False Claims Act. This is the second-largest amount ever recorded since 2014 which saw $6 billion recovered in a single fiscal year.

DC False Claims Act

In addition to the federal False Claims Act, the Office of the Attorney General can bring court actions against those who make false claims to the District government for the purpose of claiming or keeping improper amounts of government funds. Like the FCA, the DC False Claims Act can help the government recover treble damages, as well as attorney’s fees and additional civil penalties.

What Kinds of Information Could Qualify Me to Be a Washington DC Whistleblower?

The most common examples of Washington DC government fraud involve healthcare claims and insurance reimbursement. In fact, the Government Accountability Office calculates that in one year alone, improper payouts from Medicaid funds (including for services not rendered or billed incorrectly) totaled over $29 billion. However, other examples might include businesses that receive government contracts and do not fulfill the job to the specifications initially submitted.

One recent example involves United Airlines, the world’s third-largest airline. In February of 2021, United settled for $49 million to resolve civil and criminal claims that they failed to fulfill service contracts with the United States Postal service over the delivery of international mail. Instead of sending international parcels as promised from the government contract, United “defrauded the U.S. Postal Service by providing falsified parcel delivery information over a period of years and accepting millions of dollars of payments to which the company was not entitled,” according to the Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Any kind of previously unreleased or unreported information that can lead to the discovery of fraud and reimbursement of government funds may qualify those who report it to become whistleblowers. Oftentimes employees, with their intimate knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of their company, are the first line of defense to report attempts to defraud the government.

Unfulfilled orders or shoddy work in government contracts may be examples of possible fraud. Other examples of government fraud can include:

  • Receiving or offering kickbacks or bribes in exchange for a government contract or business with Medicare or Medicaid
  • Submitting for reimbursement for services that were never provided
  • Making false claims in an attempt to claim government funds, such as grants or contracts, which a company may not otherwise qualify for
  • Prescribing tests, treatments, or pharmaceuticals that are not medically necessary for Medicare or Medicaid patients
  • Upcoding” or billing for medical services more expensive than those actually rendered

Protection for Whistleblowers in Washington DC

Whistleblowers are protected against retaliation from their employers in any number of ways. The anti-retaliation clause of the False Claims Act was created to ensure that employers cannot discharge or demote those who come forward with information about illegal activity. Prohibited kinds of retaliation against whistleblowers include, but are not limited to:

  • Reduction of hours
  • Reduction of pay
  • Harassment or threats
  • Demotion or suspension
  • Discrimination due to the disclosure of confidential information, if the disclosure was made in good faith to prevent or report a crime

Contact a Washington DC Government Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer

If you have information about possible attempts to defraud government funds in Washington DC, speak to the expert attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei LLP today. Our Washington DC qui tam lawyers can help you understand what kinds of information to report, how your privacy and employment will be protected, and the next steps of a possible investigation and whistleblower case. Schedule a confidential consultation for no cost where we can evaluate your potential qui tam case.

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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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