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Proven Federal Attorneys
Protected Clients in 45+ States

Hamilton Arendsen
Former DOJ
Trial Deputy Chief

Aaron Wiley
Former State &
Federal Prosecutor

S. Amanda Marshall
Former U.S. Attorney

Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Lynette Byrd
Former Assistant
U.S. Attorney

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Legal Defense for False Claims Act & Qui Tam Charges in Orange County, California

Orange County, California has recently experienced an influx of qui tam lawsuits. These lawsuits are often brought against innocent health care providers and businesses and include an allegation of violating the False Claims Act. Oberheiden, P.C. is here to help. We represent clients in need of qui tam defense, involved in federal investigations, facing federal criminal charges, and in other legal matters. The Oberheiden, P.C. also helps clients with corporate structuring and in developing a regulatory compliance program. The defense team is made up of lawyers with impressive law school educations and former experience as federal prosecutors and senior trial lawyers. Oberheiden’s team is managed by a former Chief Health CareFraud Coordinator from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Oberheiden, P.C. represents clients throughout Orange County, California and the surrounding areas.

An allegation of violating the False Claims Act is exceptionally concerning to health care providers, facilities, entities, and businesses in Orange County, California. Oberheiden, P.C. provides health care fraud defense services in these matters. Our Health Care Fraud Defense has a distinguished track record helping health care providers, businesses, and facilities throughout the United States.

False Claims Act Investigations in Orange County, California

Health care providers, facilities, businesses, and entities in Orange County, California have a higher-than-average risk of being investigated for violating the False Claims Act. This is because Orange County is one of nine areas within the United States that is directly monitored by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The reason for this is because Orange County has a large population that relies on federal health care programs for care. In areas where there are more recipients of federal health care programs, there are more claims filed. The increase in claims is why the Medicare Fraud Strike Force watches the area so closely. The federal government believes that there is a higher risk of False Claims Act violations because of the increase in claims.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a team of investigators and prosecutors from numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the DEA, the FBI, the IRS, and other agencies. If you discover that you or your business is being investigated for violating the False Claims Act, call Oberheiden, P.C. without delay. Initial consultations are free of charge, and they are confidential.

Defining the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is a federal law that pertains to any individual, organization, or business that has a direct or indirect contracts with and is paid for their services or equipment by the federal government. It authorizes both civil and criminal liability for any individual, organization, business, or contractor that knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false claim for approval and payment by the federal government.

Actual knowledge isn’t a requirement to be subject to the criminal and civil liabilities. Liability occurs because you knew or you should have known that what was happening would constitute a violation of the False Claims Act. An example can be seen with billing and coding. If you outsource your billing and coding, or even if you have a dedicated employee or a team of employees who handle this aspect of your business, you may not be aware of whether or not the appropriate codes are used and that the most appropriate billing protocols are used. However, it is absolutely your responsibility to know. If an obsolete or inappropriate code is used, you may be held liable for violating the False Claims Act.

A Look at the Civil and Criminal Liabilities Under the False Claims Act

False Claims Act investigations may lead to charges brought against you in civil court, criminal court, or charges in both courts. Initially, the majority of those investigated don’t know whether they are facing civil or criminal charges. Oberheiden, P.C. can help you get the answers that you need. Call us right away and book your confidential consultation. Initial consultations are always free of charge.

Civil liabilities are assessed by the civil court. Although they are civil in nature, they can cause severe damage to your potential future in the health care industry. You could face one or more of the following:

  • Adjudged with treble damages (damages that are three times more than the amount that the claim is worth)
  • A fine of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • State disciplinary proceedings
  • Loss of your professional license
  • Loss of hospital privileges
  • You could be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees for the federal government

Criminal penalties are levied by the criminal court. You may face one or more of the following:

  • Criminal indictment
  • Prison time
  • A fine of $250,000 per claim for individuals for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $500,000 per claim for businesses for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $100,000 per claim for individuals for a misdemeanor conviction
  • A fine of $200000 per claim for businesses for a misdemeanor conviction

Qui Tam Lawsuits in Orange County, California

False Claims Act investigations in Orange County, California commonly start because a displeased former employee or a competitor files a qui tam lawsuit against you. Qui tam lawsuits have a specific purpose. The original goal was to provide private citizens with a way to help protect the government from being defrauded. To encourage citizens to help protect the government, the lawsuits include a monetary incentive. In fact, qui tam is a Latin phrase that means ‘he who sues for the king and himself.’

However, in Orange County, these lawsuits are routinely abused as a method to punish or close down health care providers, practices, and other related entities. The plaintiff, known in the suit as a ‘qui tam realtor,’ files their lawsuit in the Central District of California federal court. These lawsuits are sealed to protect the identity of the plaintiff. Unsealed copies are provided to the presiding judge and assigned federal investigators and prosecutors. Lawsuits have timelines that dictate how and when certain actions should be done. However, because False Claims Act investigations can take so long, the court will grant six month extensions on a regular basis to give federal investigators the time that they need to finish their investigation.

While the investigation takes place, your health care fraud defense attorney can advocate on your behalf to lean toward a favorable settlement with the federal government. However, each case is different, and this can take time.

You will receive subpoenas requesting your business, communication, billing, and financial records. Subpoenas can come from various federal agencies, including the FBI, the IRS, OIG, DEA, DOJ, and others. After they review your records, they will determine whether they will decline to participate in the qui tam lawsuit or if they will support it. If the government does not support the lawsuit, the plaintiff may still continue. If the lawsuit is successful against you, the plaintiff will receive a reward of 30 percent of the recovered monies.

It’s an acutely concerning matter if the government chooses to support the qui tam lawsuit. This is known as government intervention. For this to occur, the federal investigation team must first receive permission from the Department of Justice. If this occurs, it is likely that you will face other charges in addition to the alleged violation of the False Claims Act. Two of the most commonly included charges are violating the Anti-Kickback Act and violating the Truth in Negotiation Act. If the qui tam lawsuit is successful, the plaintiff will receive 25 percent of the recovered monies.

Established Defense Principles

Oberheiden, P.C. uses its uncommon experience as both former federal health care fraud prosecutors and defense attorneys to assist clients in Orange County, California and the surrounding area. We’ve established defense principles that are compelling and strategic, and we are able to use them with our clients nationwide.

Our experience has proven to us that the majority of allegations that cause False Claims Act violations start because a mistake occurs. There are very few instances of intentional violations of the False Claims Act. We understand the difference, and we work to protect our clients from criminal charges due to a mistake.

Reduce the possibility of criminal charges. The first objective that we have is reduce the possibility of our clients facing criminal charges. We use our years of experience as former federal health care prosecutors and our experience as health care defense attorneys to determine whether our clients are facing civil or criminal charges. We will also contact the investigating officials to find out why our clients are being investigated, the existing exposure, and what can be done to resolve the matter. Generally, we can get answers to these questions within the first few hours after our engagement.

We work to deter government intervention in qui tam lawsuits. Many False Claims Act investigations in Orange County, California begin because someone files a qui tam lawsuit. Because these lawsuits are so often abused, we work to deter government intervention. To do this, we utilize aggressive tactics to confront the plaintiff, the evidence, and the facts presented in order to destroy the credibility of the case. This is a vital defense strategy for qui tam lawsuits.

Negotiating a favorable settlement. When the federal government indicates to us that our clients may face civil liability, we use our experience as negotiators to work toward a favorable settlement on behalf of our clients. We’re often able to reduce original damage amounts to much small amounts. None of our clients accused of violating the False Claims Act have been forced to stop practicing or close down their business or clinic.

Call Oberheiden, P.C. immediately to discuss the facts in your case. Initial consultations are always free and totally confidential. You can also email us or use our contact form to get started.

Oberheiden, P.C.

Oberheiden, P.C. has provided successful legal defenses nationwide for doctors; clinic owners; physician-owned entities; toxicology labs; DME companies; pharmacies; service management organizations; marketing companies that operate in health care , clinics, hospitals; and many other health care related entities in relation to False Claims Act violations. We also assist defendants in qui tam lawsuits; Stark Law violations; Anti-Kickback statute violations; and with Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and Department of Labor investigations.

Our Track Record

The attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. have successfully defended physicians, practice owners, physician owned entities, toxicology laboratories, device companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, health care marketing companies, hospitals, and many others in False Claims Act, qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and DOL investigations.

  • False Claims Act Investigation (PharmacyResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (PharmacyResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory GroupResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory GroupResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory GroupResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (PhysicianResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (PhysicianResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (DME CompanyResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSOResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSOResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician SyndicationResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician SyndicationResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician SyndicationResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Device CompanyResult: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Health CareService ProviderResult: No Liability.

Call Oberheiden, P.C. now and ask to speak with our Health Care Fraud Defense Team about your case. Initial consultations are confidential and free.

Don’t wait. We’re available now to discuss your case. Call us, email us, or use our contact form.

Including Weekends
Oberheiden, P.C.
Serving Orange County, CA and Surrounding Areas
Not all attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. are licensed in California and nothing contained in here is meant to constitute the unauthorized practice of law.



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