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Oberheiden Attorneys

False Claims Act & Qui Tam Defense

Trusted False Claims Act & Qui Tam Defense Attorneys Serving Health Care Professionals Nationwide

Oberheiden & McMurrey LLP has significant prosecution and defense experience with False Claims Act / whistleblower cases. Our team of former Department of Justice prosecutors and experienced lawyers has represented clients across the United States in Health Care Laws, Tax Whistleblower, and Environmental Cases.

False Claims Act Explained

  • The federal False Claims Act applies to any individual or business that directly or indirectly contracts with and is paid for services by the United States government. It creates liability against any person, organization, corporation, or prime contractor that knowingly submits or causes to be submitted a false or fraudulent claim with intent to procure payment or approval from the government.
  • The submission of an inaccurate claim occurs knowingly if it was submitted with actual knowledge or even when the person or entity failed to conduct due diligence. In other words, liability under the False Claims Act already arises if an actor should-have-known that, for example, a billing code had changed, but lacking diligence, nonetheless submitted an obsolete (false) code.

What Are the Penalties?

These investigations present severe challenges to any business because the statute contains both civil and criminal penalties and it is often not clear at the beginning of a case whether the government investigates the matter civilly or intends to press felony charges against the business owners.

  • Civil Liability: Triple damages and a penalty of up to $ 11,000 per claim for anyone who knowingly submits or causes submission of a false or fraudulent claim to the United States.
  • Criminal Liability (18 U.S.C. § 287): Health care providers who intentionally present fraudulent claims to the government for reimbursement with the knowledge that such claims were false, fictitious, or fraudulent are exposed to five year imprisonment and a fine of $ 250,000 (individuals) or $ 500,000 (companies) for federal felony convictions and $ 100,000 (individuals) or $ 200,000 (companies) for misdemeanor convictions— for each claim.

What Is a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

Most of these investigations are not initiated by the government but by former employees and competitors. The False Claims Act contains a provision that allows private citizens (so-called “relator”) to file so-called qui tam lawsuits (short for the Latin expression: “he who sues for the king and himself“) to recover monies on behalf of the United States by simply alleging that an individual or a business defrauded the federal government, see 31 U.S.C. § 3729.

Complaint. The qui tam relator (the plaintiff) files a complaint against an individual, a business, or both (the defendants) with a federal court. To protect the anonymity of the plaintiffs, qui tams are filed under seal and the court’s clerk will provide a copy of the complaint only to the assigned judge and certain government officials at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Extensions to keep the case sealed are regularly granted for segments of six months and can be renewed until the government had a chance to investigate the matter.

Evidence. The government will immediately reject entirely unsubstantiated complaints. If the complaint appears promising, the government may investigate the facts with the help of federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the DEA, or the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This factual investigation is typically done through OIG subpoenas that require the accused wrongdoers to produce specified corporate, financial, billing, business, and communications records.

Government Intervention. Upon review of those records and negotiations with the health care defense attorneys, the government must decide if it will support the plaintiff and intervene in the case or whether it will drop out and let the realtor continue on its own. Interventions require an approval process that involves the Department of Justice’s Washington D.C. headquarters. If the government does intervene, the Department of Justice will typically amend the complaint to include additional causes of actions such as the Anti-Kickback Act and the Truth in Negotiation Act.

Case Settlement. Parallel to the government serving subpoenas and thereby notifying the defendants about the pending investigation, negotiations between the government and defendants’ lawyers take place. Depending on the complexity of the case and the difficulty of the analysis, it may take several months before the government starts evaluating a qui tam and even longer before an opened matter is fully resolved.

Liability and Rewards. If found liable, the individuals and companies accused of fraud in the qui tam lawsuit may be ordered to pay as much as three times the government’s losses plus penalties of up to $ 11,000, per claim, which can quickly amount to millions of dollars. The law incentivizes qui tam plaintiffs by allowing them keep up to 25 percent of any amount collected if the government participates in the litigation and up to 30 percent if the plaintiffs collect on their own without the government’s intervention.

Why Do Clients Trust Oberheiden & McMurrey?

A law firm’s reputation is its most prized possession and its most hard-won asset – and it must be earned, not given. We are more than pleased with the immense trust that our clients place in us on a daily basis. Following are some of the reasons why this is true.

1. Experience

Our lawyers have been battle-hardened by decades of experience navigating the byzantine corridors of the federal legal system. If you simply wish to minimize your risk of being investigated in the future, we can provide you with sound guidance on regulatory compliance issues. If an investigation has already begun, we can intervene decisively, since there simply isn’t much that can happen that we haven’t seen before.

2. Perspective

When you are facing a federal investigation, the Oberheiden & McMurrey difference is perspective. Several of us joined the firm after years of serving with distinction as federal prosecutors with the Department of Justice. Our experience on the other side of the table provides us with the broad perspective on our clients’ cases that simply cannot be matched by any other experience.

3. Results

The first concern of most clients facing a federal investigation is how to minimize or completely eliminate the chance of penalties such as fines or incarceration. We are fully confident in our ability to secure the best possible outcome for you because we have done it for many clients before. In fact, many of our clients walk out of our office for the last time with no civil or criminal liability. We also strive to achieve your legal objective in a prompt and cost-effective manner.

4. Team Spirit

The federal government is the nation’s largest employer and its richest organization. Its vast resources will be deployed against you in the form of a team of investigators, federal agents, and prosecutors gathered together to handle your case. Should you choose to retain us, we will form a team to handle your case. We work in a cohesive and synergistic manner that maximizes the effect of the efforts of the individual attorneys that make up our team.

5. Commitment

At Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, client loyalty is the indispensable virtue, because it is the one virtue without which all others would be useless. Our policy is to treat each of our clients’ cases with the same urgency and emphasis that we would exercise if we were the subjects of the investigation.

Proven Defense Strategies

The difference between human error and liability is often a fine line that requires convincing negotiation skills, industry experience, and attention to details. The false claims act attorneys and former government officials of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP have handled cases throughout the United States. The following are our maxims and guiding principles.

  • No Criminal Charges. Our top priority in every False Claims Act case is to avoid criminal charges. Years of experience as former federal health care prosecutors in charge of investigations and a focused practice on health care fraud defense work allow us to quickly determine whether the investigation is civil or criminal, what the government’s objectives are, and how to efficiently resolve the matter.
  • No Government Intervention. Because these cases are often initiated by whistle-blowing ex-employees or competitors with disingenuous agendas, we will aggressively confront the plaintiffs and destroy their credibility. Doing so is critical in order to convince the government that the accusations lack merit and do not deserve government intervention and support.
  • Favorable Resolution. In instances, in which civil liability was indicated, we have negotiated the damages to fractions of the government’s demand. To date, not a single settlement forced any of our clients to cease operations or to close their business.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP – Your False Claims Act Lawyers

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP represents business owners, executives, board members, management, and companies in all aspects of False Claims Act matters, including civil and criminal defense, internal investigations, implementation of compliance programs, and trial services. The following cases represent outcomes that we accomplished for our clients in False Claims Act, Qui Tam, Stark Law, and Health Care Fraud investigations across the United States.

  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.
  • False Claims Act Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability, case dismissed.

Many of our lawyers previously supervised fraudulent claims investigations in leading positions at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and offer clients valuable insights. We know how to bring a strong case and how to defend and defeat even the most persuasive complaint. Those that previously evaluated, prosecuted, and supervised False Claims Act complaints and those lawyers that have an impeccable track record of no-liability defense outcomes are here to answer your questions. Here are some recent results:

  • False Claims Act Investigation Against a Health Care Business. Our Client Was Served With a Federal Subpoena Issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General. Our Experience With Medicare Fraud Investigations Allowed Us to Persuade the Government to Conclude the Fraud Investigation with No Civil and No Criminal Liability for Our Client and Any of Its Principals, Directors, Employees, and Otherwise Affiliated Individuals.
  • False Claims Act Investigation Against a Health Care Business. Our Client Was Served With a Federal Subpoena Issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General. Our Experience With Medicare Fraud Investigations Allowed Us to Persuade the Government to Conclude the Fraud Investigation with No Civil and No Criminal Liability for Our Client and Any of Its Principals, Directors, Employees, and Otherwise Affiliated Individuals.
  • False Claims Act Investigation Against a Health Care Business. Our Client Was Served With a Federal Subpoena Issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General. Our Experience With Medicare Fraud Investigations Allowed Us to Persuade the Government to Conclude the Fraud Investigation with No Civil and No Criminal Liability for Our Client and Any of Its Principals, Directors, Employees, and Otherwise Affiliated Individuals.

Connect With Experienced False Claims Act & Qui Tam Defense Lawyers Today

Call us today to discuss your situations with our false claims act lawyers. All initial consultations are free and confidential. We are available every day of the year, 24 hours a day. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by sending us an email.

Additional Resources

Who Will Handle Your False Claims Act Case

The experienced attorneys of Oberheiden & McMurrey have investigated, prosecuted, and defended False Claims Act and whistleblower cases across the United States. Bill McMurrey, Glenn Harrison, and Lynette Byrd previously vetted whistleblower complaints at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and are intrinsically familiar with the process. Dr. Nick Oberheiden has saved clients millions in liability in OIG, HHS, and tax whistleblower cases and has avoided criminal prosecution in every single of his False Claims Act defense cases. Call our experienced attorneys today for a free and confidential case assessment.

Bill C. McMurrey

Bill C.
McMurrey

Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Dr. Nick
Oberheiden

Lynette S. Byrd

Lynette S.
Byrd

Glenn A. Harrison

Glenn A.
Harrison

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