Whatare your rights & obligations?
Abraham Lincoln’s idea: Incentivizing ordinary citizens to help stop theft of taxpayer money by rewarding whistleblowing.
Why do so many people think it’s okay to steal money from the government? Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the Government.” Since time immemorial, civilizations have been trying to deal with this problem.
During the Civil War, while Lincoln was trying to save the Nation, contractors were selling the Federal Government gunpowder diluted with sawdust; mules and horses that were sick; and food for troops that was spoiled, rancid, or never delivered. Amidst the war, the Government was helpless. Lincoln and Congress came up with the idea of allowing individual citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the Government for the return of the stolen money or wrongful charges as well as for punishment of the wrongdoers. Those lawsuits not only helped recover the lost money, but they also deterred future theft and fraud.
After some modifications over the years, the False Claims Act, also known as Lincoln’s Law, continues to be the law of the land today. Ordinary citizens who have firsthand knowledge of misrepresentations being made to the United States in order to induce the government to pay money, can disclose this information and file suit against the wrongdoers on behalf of the United States for recovery of the money. These whistleblowers receive a reward for doing so. As one might imagine, the procedure that leads to this reward is exceedingly complicated. So much so that the reward can be lost by the misuse of a few stray words or seemingly slight missteps in the reporting of the information and the filing of the lawsuit.
Howcan we help?
“You’ll Never Walk Alone”
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke.
Usually, by the time a person has decided to blow the whistle, he or she has tried everything else. And I do mean everything, including, of course, multiple attempts at trying to get the boss or the organization to stop the fraudulent behavior. Whistleblowers-in-the-making have also usually bargained with themselves hoping in vain to be able to do what their fellow workers are doing, that is, just keeping quiet. But, for these people of conscience, none of this works. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, whistleblowers are “called” or “marked” or “chosen” by some power outside of themselves. Finally, sometimes slowly, the realization occurs to these chosen people: “I am all alone in this.”
We begin with an understanding of your isolation. We know you are vulnerable to threats from your employer, your fellow workers, friends, and, perhaps most importantly, from your industry. We know that you are facing a choice between, on the one hand, following your principles and doing the right thing and, on the other hand, never being able to work again in your profession. If we take your case, we are committed to standing with you to the end.
Additionally, we bring the experience of having traversed these waters with others in your situation before. We understand the intricacies of the False Claims Act and Qui Tam procedures. Finally, we have experience in melding your expertise in your industry with the legal and trial procedures necessary to make your claim a reality. Almost always, we will selectively associate other professionals and specialists to build a team that will surround you with the tools, expertise, and emotional support necessary for success.
Represented Whistleblower in Qui Tam Lawsuit that Resulted in $2,929,162 Settlement.
The courageous whistleblower exposed the fact that an El Paso healthcare clinic was double-billing and over-billing government payers for the drug Remicade, also known as Infiximab, as well as billing for drugs illegally imported from Canada and other foreign countries.
In 2015-2016, we represented a physician’s estate in negotiating with the United States Justice Department.
Over the period of several months, negotiated substantially reduced settlement for claims of upcoding and over-charging Medicaid and Medicare for medical services.