Former federal prosecutors
offering unparalleled knowledge and a proven track record


Meet the Team
Oberheiden Attorneys

False Claims Act & Qui Tam Legal Defense for those in the San Diego Area

California Office
550 W C St #1150
San Diego, CA 92101

(Meeting location by appointment only)

Qui tam lawsuits in San Diego often result in federal investigations for alleged violations of the False Claims Act. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP represents clients in San Diego, California and the surrounding areas. We have experience in both qui tam defense and in representing clients who are accused of violating the False Claims Act. We routinely represent clients involved in federal investigations and who are accused of federal crimes. The Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP also helps clients by establishing federal compliance programs. Our defense team is under the leadership of a former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator. Clients are represented by lawyers with impressive law school backgrounds and by former federal health care prosecutors and senior trial lawyers. We provide legal representation to San Diego, California, its surrounding areas, and throughout the entire State of California.

Facing an allegation that you’ve violated the False Claims Act is a grave concern for health care practitioners, facilities, entities, and related businesses in San Diego, California. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP provides health care fraud defense services for individuals, entire health care systems, and related businesses in San Diego, California and the surrounding area. Our track record of success is noted across the entire nation. Harvard-trained health care defense attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the principal managing partner.

False Claims Act Violations in San Diego, California

Health care practitioners, facilities, entities, and businesses in San Diego, California are challenged by a higher than national statistic of being accused of violating the False Claims Act. San Diego, California is one of the nine areas in the United States that is explicitly monitored by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. They monitor the area because of the massive number of people who are beneficiaries of a federal health care program. This means that there are more claims filed through CMS. The increase in claims is directly monitored by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, because it is believed by the federal government that there will be more occurrences that violate the False Claims Act.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a unit of investigators and prosecutors from multiple 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. When you learn that you’re being investigated by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP immediately. We provide free initial consultations. Our consultations are totally confidential.

Explaining the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is a federal statute that applies to any person, organization, or business with a direct or indirect contract with and that is paid for services or equipment by the federal government. The law creates both civil and criminal liability for any person, business, contractor, or business that knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false claim for approval by and payment by the federal government.

Actual knowledge isn’t a legal requirement under the False Claims Act. Liability occurs out of due diligence. You knew or you should have known that what happened may be considered a violation of the False Claims Act. Think about your medical coding. If this is outsourced, or even if you have a specific employee or group of employees who take care of it, you may not be directly aware of whether or not the codes used are the most appropriate. If an obsolete code or a wrong code is used, you can be held responsible for violating the False Claims Act, even though you were not the one who directly does the medical billing.

Civil and Criminal Liabilities Under the False Claims Act

False Claims Act investigations may lead to civil charges or criminal charges. It can also cause you to face charges in both civil and criminal court. If you’re being investigated and you don’t know whether you are facing civil or criminal charges, call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP. Once we are retained, we can help you get the answers that you need.

Civil liabilities are disseminated by the civil court. Despite the fact that the charges are civil, they can be harsh enough to affect you for the rest of your life. 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 San Diego, California

False Claims Act violation inquiries in San Diego, California and the surrounding area often begin because someone, such as a malcontented former employee or a jealous competitor, files a qui tam lawsuit against you. Qui tam lawsuits were designed to provide private citizens with a method to help protect the federal government against being defrauded. These lawsuits have a monetary incentive to encourage private citizens to protect the government. Qui tam is Latin for ‘he who uses for the king and himself.’

Qui tam lawsuits in San Diego, California are often abused as a way to punish or shut down health care practices, providers, and other related entities. The plaintiff is known as the ‘qui tam realtor.’ Qui tam cases are filed in the Southern District of California federal court. Qui tam suits are sealed to safeguard the identity of the plaintiff. Unsealed copies are given only to the involved federal investigators, prosecutors, and the assigned judge.

Generally, lawsuits have a timeline that dictates what should happen, and when those things should happen. When the timeline isn’t followed, cases may be dismissed. However, qui tam lawsuits regularly have six month extensions granted to federal investigators to provide them the time that they need to finish their investigation.

While the investigation occurs, your health care fraud defense attorney can advocate on your behalf to work toward a favorable settlement with the federal government. Each case is different. Cases that are more complex will take even more time.

You’ll receive subpoenas for your business, communication, billing, and financial records. They may come from numerous federal agencies, including the FBI, the IRS, OIG, DEA, DOJ, and others. When they’ve finished reviewing the documents, the federal government will determine whether it will reject the qui tam lawsuit or if it will provide support. In cases where the government elects to withdraw its potential support, the case may still continue, because the plaintiff has the right to keep the case alive. If the lawsuit is successful against you, the plaintiff will be awarded with 30 percent of the amount recovered.

If the government chooses to provide its support to the qui tam lawsuit, it is extremely concerning. This is called government intervention. For it to happen, the federal investigation team must receive permission from the Department of Justice. You may face additional charges, such as the violating the Anti-Kickback Act or the Truth in Negotiation Act. If the qui tam lawsuit is successful with government support, the plaintiff will be awarded with 25 percent of the amount recovered.

Strategic & Established Defense Principles

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP makes use of its uncommon experience as former federal health care fraud prosecutors and health care fraud defense to assist clients in San Diego, California and the surrounding area. We’ve established strategic defense principles that we use to assist our clients nationwide.

We know that the majority of allegations that cause False Claims Act violations occur because of an honest mistake. Very few intentional violations of the False Claims Act occur. We know the difference, and we work to protect our clients from criminal charges when a mistake has been made.

Addressing the possibility of criminal charges. Our first objective is to address the possibility of criminal charges. We use our experience as former senior federal health care prosecutors to discover whether our clients are facing civil or criminal charges. We also contact federal investigators to determine why our clients are being investigated, the exposure that exists, and what our clients can do to resolve the investigation. We are often able to get the answers to these questions within hours of our engagement.

Deterring government intervention in qui tam lawsuits. Many False Claim Act investigations in San Diego, California start because of a qui tam lawsuit. Since these suits are often abused, our objective is to deter the government from intervention. To do so, we utilize aggressive maneuvers to confront the plaintiff, question the evidence, and scrutinize the facts. We do this to destroy the credibility of the case. This is an important defense strategy in qui tam lawsuits.

Favorable settlement. When the government informs us that our clients will be held civilly liable, we use our negotiation experience 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 & McMurrey, LLP 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 & McMurrey, LLP

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP 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 & McMurrey, LLP 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 (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 (Health Care Service Provider)   Result: No Liability.

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

False Claims Act Defense Lawyers Serving San Diego, California

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick Oberheiden has represented clients in qui tam lawsuits, False Claims Act investigations, Medicare fraud investigations, Tricare fraud investigations, Stark Law violations, and anti-kickback proceedings before virtually all federal agencies including, but not limited to, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Labor (DOL). Dr. Oberheiden is trained in negotiations by Harvard Law School and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a Ph.D. in law.

Lynette ByrdLynette S. Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). Detroit clients greatly benefit from Ms. Byrd’s previous experience with the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, violations of the False Claims Act, and Stark Law violations on behalf of the United States. Ms. Byrd has immense experience with health care law enforcement, and she regularly argues federal matters for her clients.

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

714-294-2000
Including Weekends
Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
Serving San Diego, CA and Surrounding Areas
www.federal-lawyer.com
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 & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.

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