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False Claims Act Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawyers: Guide for False Claims Act Relators/Whistleblowers

The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act have been enormously effective in enlisting private citizens to combat fraud against the government.  Qui tam whistleblowers, also known as relators, have enabled the government to recover more than $70 billion.  In fiscal year 2017 alone, qui tam actions brought by whistleblowers resulted in $3.4 billion in settlements and judgments, and the government paid $392 million in whistleblower awards to False Claims Act whistleblowers. Whistleblowers now initiate nearly 80 percent of False Claims Act recoveries.

In conjunction with co-counsel, Zuckerman has successfully represented whistleblowers disclosing off-label marketing, Medicare fraud, medical device fraud, and student loan fraud.

Described by the National Law Journal as a “leading whistleblower attorney,” founding Principal Jason Zuckerman has established precedent under a wide range of whistleblower protection laws and obtained substantial compensation for his clients and recoveries for the government in whistleblower rewards and whistleblower retaliation cases.

Three of the matters he has worked on are featured in Tom Mueller’s seminal book about whistleblowing Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud and Dan Maldea’s Corruption in U.S. Higher Education: The Stories of Whistleblowers.  False Claims Act qui tam cases he has worked on in conjunction with other attorneys have resulted in recoveries in excess of $100 million.

Call our False Claims Act whistleblower lawyers today at 202-262-8959 to find out if you might be eligible for a False Claims Act whistleblower award.

Click here to read reviews from clients that we have represented in whistleblower rewards and whistleblower retaliation matters.

To learn about False Claims Act whistleblower protection, see our FCA whistleblower retaliation FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions About False Claims Act Qui Tam Whistleblower Law

SEC whistleblower awards A qui tam whistleblower can be eligible for a large recovery.  But there are many pitfalls and obstacles to proving liability, and there are unique rules and procedures that govern qui tam whistleblower cases.  Therefore, it is critical to retain an experienced False Claims Act whistleblower lawyer to maximize your recovery.  This FAQ provides an overview of some of the key aspects of False Claims Act claims.

2022 Qui Tam False Claims Act Settlements

AmountViolationsDatePress Release from DOJ or Relator's Counsel
$260MMallinckrodt resolved allegations that it violated the FCA by knowingly: 1) underpaying Medicaid rebates due for its drug H.P. Acthar Gel; and 2) using a foundation as a conduit to pay illegal co-pay subsidies in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute for Acthar. March 7, 2022Mallinckrodt Agrees to Pay $260 Million to Settle Lawsuits Alleging Underpayments of Medicaid Drug Rebates and Payment of Illegal Kickbacks
$48.5MIn the largest-ever False Claims Act recovery based on allegations of small business contracting fraud, TriMark agreed to pay $48.5 million to resolve allegations that its subsidiaries, TriMark Gill Marketing and Gill Group, Inc. improperly manipulated federal small business set-aside contracts around the country. TriMark identified federal set-aside contract opportunities for the small businesses to bid on using their set-aside status; instructed them regarding how to prepare their bids and what prices to propose; “ghostwrote” emails for those companies to send to government officials to make it appear as though the small businesses were performing work that TriMark was performing; and affirmatively concealed TriMark’s involvement in the contract. February 23, 2022Government Contractor Agrees to Pay Record $48.5 Million to Resolve Claims Related to Fraudulent Procurement of Small Business Contracts Intended for Service-Disabled Veterans
$34MEargo agreed to pay $34.37 million to resolve allegations that it submitted or caused the submission of claims for hearing aid devices for reimbursement to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that contained unsupported hearing loss diagnosis codes. April 29, 2022Hearing Aid Company Eargo Inc. Agrees to Pay $34.37 Million to Settle Common Law and False Claims Act Allegations for Unsupported Diagnosis Codes
$24.5MPhysician Partners of America LLC (PPOA), its founder, and its former chief medical officer agreed to pay $24.5 million to resolve allegations that they violated the FCA by billing federal healthcare programs for unnecessary medical testing and services, paying unlawful remuneration to its physician employees and making a false statement in connection with a loan obtained through the PPP. April 12, 2022Physician Partners of America to Pay $24.5 Million to Settle Allegations of Unnecessary Testing, Improper Remuneration to Physicians and a False Statement in Connection with COVID-19 Relief Funds
$20MBayCare Health System Inc. and entities that operate four affiliated Florida hospitals (collectively BayCare) have agreed to pay the United States $20 million to resolve allegations that BayCare violated the False Claims Act by making donations to the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County (JWB) to improperly fund the state’s share of Medicaid payments to BayCare. The four hospitals are Morton Plant Hospital, Mease Countryside Hospital, Mease Dunedin Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital.
Specifically, the United States alleged that during this time, BayCare made improper, non-bona fide cash donations to JWB knowing that JWB would and then did transfer a portion of the cash donations to the State of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration for Florida’s Medicaid Program. The funds transferred by JWB to the state were “matched” by the federal government before being returned to the BayCare hospitals as Medicaid payments, and BayCare was thus able to recoup its original donations to JWB and also receive federal matching funds, in violation of the federal prohibition on non-bona fide donations. BayCare’s donations to JWB increased Medicaid payments received by BayCare, without any actual expenditure of state or local funds.
April 6, 2022Florida’s BayCare Health System and Hospital Affiliates Agree to Pay $20 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Relating to Impermissible Medicaid Donations
$14.6MMassachusetts General Hospital, the clinical teaching arm for Harvard Medical School, resolved a federal whistleblower case stemming from allegations that some of the hospital's orthopedic surgeons engaged in overlapping surgeries that violated federal Medicare and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medicaid rules. February 19, 2022MASS GENERAL HOSPITAL TO PAY $14.6 MILLION TO RESOLVE OVERLAPPING SURGERY CLAIMS; STANDARDIZED CONSENT FORMS TO BE AMENDED
$14MGeorgia Cancer Specialists, agreed to pay $8 million to resolve allegations that GCS solicited and received kickbacks for more than a decade, first from Option Care, an infusion pharmacy and medical equipment provider, and later from Amedisys, a Medicare nursing company. The whistleblowers received $2.4 million dollars, the maximum possible relators’ share.February 1, 2022Louis J. Cohen, Whistleblower Counsel, Announces Georgia Cancer Specialists Agrees to Pay $8 Million Dollars to Resolve Medicare Fraud Kickback and Stark Law Violations; Total Settlements Exceed $14 Million
$13MCardinal Health agreed to pay $13,125,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying “upfront discounts” to its physician practice customers, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.January 31, 2022Cardinal Health Agrees to Pay More than $13 Million to Resolve Allegations that it Paid Kickbacks to Physicians
$9MAerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. and whistleblower Brian Markus settled a False Claims Act suit alleging that the company misled the government about its cybersecurity practices to gain missile defense and rocket engine contracts.April 29, 2022Aerojet Rocketdyne, Whistleblower Settle Cybersecurity Suit
$7.4MSix surgery centers and medical offices affiliated with Interventional Pain Management Center P.C. settled a qui tam action for mischaracterizing acupuncture as a surgical procedure in order to dishonestly obtain millions of dollars from Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.

The defendants treated patients with electro-acupuncture devices called P-Stim and NeuroStim/NSS (“NSS”). P-Stim and NSS procedures transmit electrical pulses through needles placed just under the skin on a patient’s ear. Both treatments are considered acupuncture under Medicare and Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (“FEHBP”) guidelines and are therefore ineligible for reimbursement by the government. From January 2012 through April 2017, the IPMC surgery centers and medical offices submitted claims to Medicare and FEHBP for P-Stim and NSS treatment and associated administration of anesthesia. In submitting the claims, the defendants used a billing code that mischaracterized the acupuncture treatment as a surgical implantation of a neurostimulator.
January 12, 2022Surgery Centers and Medical Offices in New Jersey Settle Allegations of Federal Health Care Fraud
$6.85MYRC Freight Inc, Roadway Express Inc. and Yellow Transportation Inc. agreed to pay approximately $6.85 million to resolve allegations that they knowingly presented false claims to DOD by systematically overcharging for freight carrier services and making false statements to hide their misconduct.March 14, 2022Freight Carriers Agree to Pay $6.85 Million to Resolve Allegations of Knowingly Presenting False Claims to the Department of Defense
$2.1MSHC Home Health Services of Florida, LLC and its related entities (collectively “Signature HomeNow”) paid $2.1 million to the United States government to settle claims of improperly billing the Medicare Program for home health services provided to beneficiaries living in Florida. The complaint alleged that Signature HomeNow knowingly submitted false or fraudulent claims seeking payment from the Medicare Program for home health services to Medicare beneficiaries who: (i) were not homebound; (ii) did not require certain skilled care; (iii) did not have a valid or otherwise appropriate plans of care in place; and/or (iv) did not have appropriate face-to-face encounters needed in order to be appropriately certified to receive home health services.May 5, 2022Home Health Company Operating in Florida Pays $2.1 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations
$2MHayat Pharmacy agreed to pay approximately $2M to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid in 2019 for two prescription medications and switched Medicaid and Medicare patients from lower cost medications to the iodoquinol-hydrocortisone-aloe cream and Azesco without any medical need and/or without a valid prescription.January 28, 2022Milwaukee Pharmacy Chain to Pay Over $2 Million to Resolve Allegations It Violated the False Claims Act
$930,000Comprehensive Health Services, LLC agreed to pay $930,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by falsely representing to the State Department and the Air Force that it complied with contract requirements relating to the provision of medical services at State Department and Air Force facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States alleged that, between 2012 and 2019, CHS failed to disclose to the State Department that it had not consistently stored patients’ medical records on a secure EMR system.March 8, 2022Contractor Pays $930,000 to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Relating to Medical Services Contracts at State Department and Air Force Facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan

Whistleblower Retaliation Laws Protecting Employees of Federal Contractors and Grantees

Courageous whistleblowers that come forward to report fraud deserve robust protection against retaliation.  Below is a list of common questions about key aspects of the anti-retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act and the Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act.

Experienced Washington DC False Claims Act Qui Tam Whistleblower Attorneys Representing Whistleblowers Nationwide

The experienced whistleblower attorneys at leading whistleblower law firm Zuckerman Law have substantial experience representing whistleblowers disclosing fraud and other wrongdoing at government contractors and grantees.  To schedule a confidential consultation, click here or call us at 202-262-8959.

Our experience includes:

  • Representing whistleblowers in NDAA retaliation claims before the Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice Offices of Inspectors General.
  • Litigating False Claims Act retaliation cases.
  • Representing qui tam relators in False Claims Act cases.
  • Representing whistleblowers disclosing fraud on the government in Congressional investigations.
  • Training judges, senior Office of Inspector General officials, and federal law enforcement about whistleblower protections.

In addition, we have substantial experience representing whistleblowers under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) and enforcing the WPA, the law that the NDAA whistleblower provisions are based upon.  Two of the attorneys on our team served in senior positions at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel overseeing investigations of whistleblower retaliation claims and whistleblower disclosures.

Jason Zuckerman served as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at OSC, where he worked on the implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and several high-profile investigations, including a matter resulting in the removal of an Inspector General.

Before hiring a lawyer for a high-stakes whistleblower case, assess the lawyer’s reputation, prior experience representing whistleblowers, knowledge of whistleblower laws and prior results.  And consider the experience of other whistleblowers working with that attorney.  See our client testimonials by clicking here.

Zuckerman Law has written extensively about whistleblower protections for employees of government contractors and grantees, including the following articles and blog posts:

Whistleblower Bounties

Whistleblower Protections for Employees of Federal Contractors and Grantees

Whistleblower Protections Under the National Defense Authorization Act (w-008-5821)

 

SEC whistleblower rules