Congress enacted the False Claims Act (“FCA”) in 1863 to combat fraud committed by suppliers of goods to the Union Army during the Civil War. The FCA lay largely dormant until Congress significantly revamped it in 1986. From 1986 to 2013, the federal government recovered in excess of $35 billion as a result of cases filed under the FCA. Although FCA cases can be brought in virtually any industry where the government spends money, nearly one-half of all recoveries have come from health-care related cases.
Vital to the success of the FCA are those who serve as whistleblowers, or “Relators.” The FCA’s “qui tam” provisions allow these Relators to sue, on the government’s behalf, entities that are defrauding the government. Once Relators file an FCA suit, the government conducts an investigation and eventually decides whether or not to intervene in the lawsuit. Relators may also decide to litigate those cases where the government declines to intervene (“non-intervened” cases). Relators are rewarded with a share of the recovery to the government: between 15% and 25% of the recovery in intervened cases and between 25% and 30% of the recovery in non-intervened cases. Many states also have their own false claims act statutes which generally operate in a similar manner to the FCA.
Our attorneys have expertise in a wide range of federal and state false claims act cases. Developing a strong factual foundation for a Relator’s claims is critical to persuading the Government to intervene in a Relator’s lawsuit. To that end, our attorneys work with in-house investigators to uncover additional evidence to bolster Relator’s claims. However, even when the Government declines to intervene, our attorneys have the resources and commitment necessary to continue prosecuting the action.