False Claims Act: Extending the Reach of the Act to Address Increasing Instances of Cyber Fraud

In October 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a new initiative under the False Claims Act: The Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative (“CCFI”). (LINK to DOJ News Release on the CCFI).  DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that the CCFI “will hold accountable entities or individuals that put U.S. information or systems at risk by knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products … Read More

Qui Tam Background: Suing on Behalf of the Government as well as Himself

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) remains an important mechanism for the Government to fight actions that defraud us– the citizen taxpayers. (LINK to Cornell Law Article on the FCA).  In the FCA, there exists a unique and ever-important provision for whistleblowers, known as the Qui Tam Provision. (LINK to Whistleblower Blog Entry).  Qui tam is an abbreviation for the Latin … Read More

Whistleblower Provision of the False Claims Act Remains a Tool to Combat Fraudulent Medical Billing

According to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), healthcare fraud continues to be a leading contributor to False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlements and judgments. (LINK to DOJ’s Feb. 7th Press Release).  The FCA settlements and judgments operate to restore funds to the taxpayer-funded government program that has been defrauded.  We are seeing the DOJ consistently use the FCA as a deterrence … Read More

False Claims Act Whistleblowers and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Too often the general public wrongly believes the False Claims Act (“FCA”) only applies to Medicare or Medicaid fraud.  But the FCA applies to just about any type of fraud orchestrated against the federal government, including fraud against any its many departments and divisions. This certainly includes fraud perpetrated against the United States Department of Energy (“DOE”). On DOE’s website, … Read More

Whistleblower Receives Over $10 Million from Food Service Equipment Provider’s False Claims Act Settlement Related to Small Business Fraud

On February 22nd, food service equipment company TriMark USA agreed to pay $48.5 million to resolve allegations that it fraudulently obtained contracts intended for service-disabled veterans. (LINK to DOJ Press Release on TriMark’s False Claims Settlement).  Federal government contracts are often reserved, or “set aside”, for small businesses in a particular socioeconomic category. (LINK to U.S. Government Webpage on Set-Aside … Read More

Whistleblower Leads to DOJ Suit and Settlement Against Hospital for Almost $4 Million

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that a New Hampshire-based hospital, Catholic Medical Center (CMC), paid its own cardiologists to serve as free on-call substitute doctors when one particular cardiologist was on vacation or otherwise unavailable. (LINK to DOJ Press Release on Hospital Settling False Claims Allegations). In exchange, the cardiologist who received free on-call substitute services referred … Read More

Why Do Whistleblowers Matter?

When the term “blow the whistle” started catching on, it found roots in sports referees blowing their whistles due to fouls and other infractions. Over time, “blow the whistle” transformed into something much bigger than sports; it started to mean “calling attention to something, such as criminal activity, kept secret.” A whistleblower then, quite fittingly, is someone who will “blow … Read More

False Claims Act’s Role in Combatting Opioid Epidemic

Civil enforcement under the False Claims Act continues to be critical in the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat the country’s opioid epidemic. We certainly see those efforts affecting the pharmaceutical industry as well. (LINK to DOJ Press Release on $5.6 Billion in 2021 False Claims Settlements). Many of these lawsuits are only made possible due to private individuals acting … Read More

Covid Relief Fraud Contributing to Spike in False Claims Act Cases

The Department of Justice announced February 1st that the 2021 fiscal year resulted in more than $5.6 billion in False Claims Act settlements and judgments, the second most in the Act’s history. (LINK to DOJ Press Release on $5.6 Billion in 2021 False Claims Settlements). The growing number of False Claims suits is due in large part to a new … Read More

DOJ’s False Claims Suit Against Texas Doctor Ongoing

In March 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a civil suit against Dr. Clay Cockerell alleging that he knowingly permitted a laboratory management company to submit false claims to federal health insurance programs for unnecessary tests. (LINK to DOJ Press Release on Doctor Accused of False Claims Violations). The DOJ alleges that in return for Dr. Cockerell’s agreement with … Read More