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St. Louis False Claims Act & Qui Tam Lawsuit Defense Attorneys

Qui tam lawsuits in St. Louis often result in False Claims Act investigations. The Oberheiden, P.C. is a healthcare defense law firm representing clients in St. Louis and in the surrounding areas. We represent individuals and entire businesses named as qui tam defendants and who are being investigated for violating the False Claims Act. Additionally, we represent those who are involved in a federal criminal lawsuit or who need help in federal compliance. Our experienced team of former federal healthcare prosecutors and senior trial attorneys is headed by a former Chief Healthcare Fraud Coordinator from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Oberheiden, P.C. represents clients in St. Louis and the surrounding areas.

An allegation that you violated the False Claims Act is a grave concern. St. Louis healthcare providers, entities, facilities, and related businesses facing this type of allegation are at risk of enduring serious civil and criminal penalties. Oberheiden, P.C. serves individuals, entire healthcare systems, and related businesses in need of healthcare fraud defense in St. Louis and the surrounding area. Our successful track record spans the entire nation. Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a Harvard-trained negotiator and renowned healthcare fraud defense attorney. Dr. Oberheiden is the principal managing partner of Oberheiden, P.C..

False Claims Act Violations in St. Louis

Healthcare providers, entities, businesses, and facilities in St. Louis face a unique challenge. They are more likely to face an allegation of violating the False Claims Act than in most of the United States. St. Louis is one of nine locations in the United States that is expressly watched by a Medicare Fraud Strike Force. This happens because St. Louis has a massive number of individuals who receive medical care as a result of a federal healthcare program. Because of this, more claims are filed for reimbursement by the federal government through CMS. The federal government believes that there is a correlation because the increase in claims, and an increase in violations of the Federal Claims Act.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a united team made up of agents from various 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’re informed that you’re being investigated by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, you should call Oberheiden, P.C. without delay. Our initial consultations are free and totally confidential.

Defining the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is a federal regulation that extends to any individual, business, or organization that has a direct or an indirect contract with and that will be paid for services or equipment by the federal government. This regulation establishes civil and criminal penalties for any individual, business, contractor, or organization that knowingly submits or causes the submission of one or more false claim for approval by and payment by the federal government.

You do not need actual knowledge of the false claim under this statute. Liability is applied out of due diligence. This means that you knew or should have known that what would happen could be considered a violation of the False Claims Act. Consider medical coding and the recent updates to it. If your employee or the company that you pay to handle your medical coding does not use the right codes, or if an obsolete code is used, then that may be treated as a violation under the False Claims Act. Although you did not perform the coding, you should have known that the medical coder was using the appropriate codes.

Civil and Criminal Penalties

False Claims Act investigations have the potential of leading to civil or criminal charges. There is also the potential that you’ll face charges in both civil and criminal courts. If you’re not sure whether you are facing potential civil or criminal charges, call Oberheiden, P.C.. Once we are retained, we can help you get the answers that you need related to the investigation.

Civil liabilities are handed down by the civil court. Civil charges may not seem as severe as criminal, but the penalties involved can continue to affect your life for quite some time. You may receive one or more of the following penalties:

  • 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 St. Louis

False Claims Act investigations in St. Louis often start because someone files a qui tam lawsuit against a healthcare provider, entity, or business. Although these lawsuits were initially developed to protect the government, it is now primarily used as an abuse of the court system. Private citizens are encouraged to file qui tam lawsuits because, if the lawsuit is successful, the private citizen will receive a monetary reward. This incentive is to encourage true whistleblowers to step forward to stop healthcare fraud. Qui tam is a Latin phrase that means ‘he who sues for the king and himself.’ However, in St. Louis, qui tam lawsuits are filed by resentful former employees and jealous competitors as a way to punish you.

In St. Louis, qui tam lawsuits are filed in the Eastern District of Missouri federal court. The plaintiff is known as the ‘qui tam realtor.’ When the suit is filed, it is sealed by the court. Only the presiding judge and assigned federal investigators will receive an unsealed copy. All lawsuits have a timeline that dictates what and when certain things should happen. When the timeline isn’t followed, cases can be dismissed. However, qui tam lawsuits are a bit different. It is routine for the court to grant six month extensions to give the federal government the time that it needs to investigate the allegations.

As the investigation gets underway, your healthcare fraud defense attorney could get into contact with the federal investigators and prosecutors to begin to advocate on your behalf. Sometimes, it is possible to settle with the federal government. Please note that both investigations and negotiations can take time. Cases that are complex will require more time.

During the investigation process, you’ll receive subpoenas for your business, billing, communication, financial, and other records. Subpoenas may come from the FBI, the IRS, OIG, DEA, DOJ, and other federal agencies. Once the government receives and reviews the documents, it will determine whether it will support the case against you, or if it will decline to get involved. If the government declines involvement, the plaintiff can still keep the case alive. If the case is successful against you, they will be entitled to receive 30 percent of the recovered funds as a reward.

To support the case, federal prosecutors must get permission from the Department of Justice. If this happens, you will likely face additional charges, such as allegations that you violated the Anti-Kickback Act, the Truth in Negotiation Act, or the Physician Self-Referral Law. If you lose the qui tam suit, the plaintiff will receive 25 percent of the recovered funds as a reward.

Solid Defense Principles Are a Must

Oberheiden, P.C. has remarkable insight, due to our combination of both former federal healthcare fraud prosecution experience and as healthcare fraud defense attorneys. We use our combined experience to assist clients in St. Louis and the surrounding area who are in need of solid and strategic defense principles. We’ve tested these defense principles time and time again across the United States.

Confronting the possibility of criminal charges. Most of the time, violations of the False Claims Act in St. Louis do not occur because someone had intent to defraud the government. Rather, they occur because someone made an honest mistake. While these mistakes should be addressed and certainly corrected, they should not make an individual or a company criminally liable. Our first objective is to confront the possibility of criminal charges and reduce it. This means that we contact the federal investigators and prosecutors directly after we are retained to find out whether our St. Louis clients are facing civil or criminal penalties. We also ask how the investigation started, what exposure exists, and what our clients can do to bring the investigation to a close. We can usually get this information for our clients within the first few hours.

Qui tam lawsuit defense. Since most False Claims Act investigations in St. Louis begin because of a qui tam lawsuit, we develop an aggressive and vigorous defense for our clients. Our goal is to discourage government intervention. We boldly confront the evidence, the plaintiff, and the facts. We scrutinize the case and cast doubt on the merits to destroy the credibility of the case. This is vital for qui tam lawsuits.

Negotiating a favorable settlement. The federal government will inform us if our clients will be civilly liable for damages. In these cases, we negotiate with the federal government. Our goal is to negotiate the original damage amount down to something more favorable for our clients. To date, none of our clients were forced to shut down their practice or their business.

Contact Oberheiden, P.C. right away to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.

Oberheiden, P.C.

Oberheiden, P.C. assists doctors; nurses; other healthcare professionals; clinic owners; physician-owned entities; toxicology labs; DME companies; pharmacies; service management organizations; marketing companies that operate in healthcare, clinics, hospitals; and many other healthcare related entities in St. Louis and nationwide under investigation for 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, healthcare 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 (Healthcare Service Provider)   Result: No Liability.

Call Oberheiden, P.C. now and ask to speak with our Healthcare 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 St. Louis, Missouri and Surrounding Areas

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.

Why Clients Trust Oberheiden P.C.

  • 1,000+ Cases Handled
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  • Experienced Trial Attorneys
  • Former Department of Justice Trial Attorneys
  • Former Federal Prosecutors, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Former Agents from FBI, OIG, DEA
  • Cases Handled in 48 States
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