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Dallas, TX False Claims Act & Qui Tam Defense Attorneys

Oberheiden, P.C. is a healthcare law defense firm with expertise in regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, litigation, government investigations, and criminal defense. Many of our attorneys are graduates of some of the finest colleges such as Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Our attorneys serve clients in Dallas and throughout Texas.

Dallas address – by appointment only:
4131 N Central Expy, #900
Dallas, TX 75204
972-846-8818

Led by founder Dr. Nick Oberheiden, Oberheiden, P.C.’s nationally recognized Healthcare Fraud Defense Group defends clients in False Claims Act cases in Dallas, TX. If you are facing federal investigation or a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, your situation is serious. We have a long record of successfully defending clients in federal cases. Securing favorable outcomes for our clients is our top priority.

Healthcare Providers in Dallas are Targets for False Claims Act Investigations

Dallas is one of only fifteen cities with a team from the federal government’s HEAT task force. The Healthcare Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Teams (HEAT) are groups of prosecutors from several federal agencies. HEAT’s directive is to uncover False Claims Act violations involving Medicare. Its agents pursue civil and criminal judgements against individuals and companies throughout Texas.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

The False Claims Act: Violations, Penalties, and Qui Tam Litigation

What Constitutes a Violation of the False Claims Act?

To knowingly submit a false or fraudulent claim, you do not have to know that it was false or fraudulent. As the target of an investigation, this is important to understand. The False Claims Act imposes penalties when a person or company knows that a false claim has been submitted. However, it also carries penalties for false/fraudulent claims filed for lack of due diligence. For example, if you use an incorrect code after a change in Medicare billing rules, the government may seek penalties under the False Claims Act based on the fact that you “should have known” about the change and used the correct code.

How Serious are the Penalties for Violating the False Claims Act?

As noted above, violations of the False Claims Act can result in both civil and criminal penalties. This means possible prison time. The standard penalties for False Claims Act violations are as follows:

Civil Liability

Triple damages and a penalty of up to $11,000 per false claim.

Criminal Liability (18 U.S.C. § 287)

Criminal penalties can apply if the government alleges that you intentionally presented a false claim. Criminal penalties under the False Claims Act include up to five years of federal imprisonment and fines of:

  • Felony False Claims Act Violations: $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for companies
  • Misdemeanor False Claims Act Violations: $100,000 for individuals or $200,000 for companies

As with civil penalties, criminal fines for False Claims Act violations apply for each individual fraudulent claim.

What Is a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

In Dallas, most False Claims Act investigations are not initiated by the government, but instead by disgruntled former employees or competitors. The False Claims Act contains a provision that allows a private citizen (called a “relator”) to file a “qui tam” lawsuit, which simply means a lawsuit to recover monies owed filed on behalf of the United States government. In order to initiate a qui tam action, all that is required is an allegation that an individual or business has defrauded the federal government (see 31 U.S.C. § 3729). There are five primary stages to a qui tam lawsuit filed in Dallas, TX:

1. Qui Tam Complaint

The lawsuit begins when a relator files a complaint under the False Claims Act with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. To protect relators’ identity, all qui tam complaints are under seal. Copies of the complaint are available to the judge and select government officials, but not to defendants. If requested by the relator, the complaint remains sealed until the government has had time to investigate.

2. Government Investigation

The government reviews all qui tam complaints. If a relator’s claims are groundless, the complaint gets rejected. Federal prosecutors may choose to investigate if evidence appears to support a violation. Investigations in qui tam cases are typically done by subpoena. Requests for corporate, financial, billing, business, and communications records are typical.

3. Government Intervention

The government makes a decision following a review of records and early negotiations with the defendant’s attorneys. The government’s prosecutors will either intervene or let the relator pursue the qui tam action alone. If the government intervenes, prosecutors typically include violations of additional laws. The most common are the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Truth in Negotiation Act.

4. Case Settlement Negotiations

While the investigation is pending, federal prosecutors negotiate with the defendant’s attorneys. However, qui tam matters are rarely resolved quickly. Depending on the nature of the allegations, it can take several months for governmental review. It may take much longer for case resolution.

5. Liability and Relator Compensation

In a qui tam lawsuit, defendants can be ordered to pay as much as three times the government’s losses, plus penalties of up to $11,000 per false claim. In some cases, this can add up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The relator receives up to 25 percent of the amount collected if the government intervened in the case. If the relator pursued the claim alone, proceeds can be up to 30 percent of the recovered amount.

Defending Against Allegations Under the False Claims Act

The attorneys in our firm use a number of proven strategies to defend clients in qui tam lawsuits and False Claims Act cases. Convincing the government not to pursue charges requires advanced negotiation skills, industry knowledge, and a willingness to take swift and aggressive action. In every False Claims Act case, we focus on three priorities:

  • No Criminal Charges. When you retain us, our top priority will be ensuring that you avoid criminal charges. This allows us to center our defense strategy on challenging the government’s claims for civil liability.
  • No Government Intervention. In qui tam cases, we forcefully confront relators, challenge their allegations, and try to damage their standing. False Claims Act cases often arise from claims by ex-employees and competitors with dishonest motives. A strong approach is crucial to convince the government the complaints are baseless and do not justify fits intervention.
  • Favorable Settlement. When there is evidence to support allegations of civil liability, we will seek to lower the settlement to a fraction of the demand. To date, not a single client has been forced to cease operations or close their business as a result of a settlement we secured.

Why Choose Oberheiden, P.C.?

Dallas, TX False Claims Act & Qui Tam Defense Attorneys

Located in Dallas, TX, the experienced defense attorneys and former federal prosecutors in our Healthcare Fraud Defense Group have successfully defended many professionals and businesses in Dallas and nationwide. We offer healthcare industry insights that few law firms match. With our team approach, clients benefit from our attorneys’ collective experience in False Claims Act proceedings.

To speak with the attorneys in our Healthcare Fraud Defense Group about your case, contact Oberheiden, P.C. to request your free case evaluation today.

Our Track Record

  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (DME Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Device Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Healthcare Service Provider)
    Result: No Liability.
 

We are available to discuss your case. Call us directly or complete our contact form to schedule your free, confidential case evaluation today.

 

Additional Pages for Dallas, Texas

Oberheiden P.C.
4131 N Central Expy, #900
Dallas, TX 75205
972-846-8818

This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden, P.C. is a Texas PC with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.
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