False Claims Whistleblower Attorney
Our Attorneys Represent False Claims Act Whistleblowers Nationwide
The False Claims Act (FCA) is one of the federal government’s most potent weapons for fighting fraud, waste, and abuse under government programs and contracts. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) calls the FCA the “single most important tool U.S. taxpayers have to recover funds lost due to fraud against the government.” One of the reasons why the FCA is so effective is because of its whistleblower provisions that allow employees and other individuals to come forward without fear of retribution.
Like other federal whistleblower statutes, the FCA includes strong protections for whistleblowers. When you come forward under the FCA, a false claims whistleblower attorney can protect your identity, and you are entitled to protection against all forms of retaliation. Employers—both public and private—are strictly prohibited from retaliating against whistleblowers; and, if they violate the FCA’s anti-retaliation provisions, they can be held accountable.
Work with a Highly Experienced False Claims Whistleblower Attorney
At Oberheiden P.C., we have extensive experience handling False Claims Act cases both as government attorneys and in private practice. Many of our attorneys handled FCA investigations and prosecutions as U.S. Attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and DOJ trial lawyers before joining our firm. We have significant experience representing whistleblowers as well. When you choose Oberheiden P.C., you will work with a highly experienced false claims whistleblower lawyer one-on-one, and your attorney will help you make informed decisions throughout the process.
What You Can Expect from Us
If you are thinking about contacting an attorney, it is important to know that we do not expect you to be prepared to come forward when you contact us. Most prospective whistleblowers who contact us are on the fence about filing a whistleblower complaint with the federal government. Oftentimes, they are unsure whether they have enough information to qualify as a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. In other cases, they have concerns about maintaining their privacy or facing adverse consequences.
As your legal counsel, our first role is to help you decide whether to come forward. This may involve sitting down with your attorney once, or it may involve meeting with your attorney several times to discuss various aspects of blowing the whistle under the FCA. We are here to guide you, not rush you. It is important that you make an informed decision about blowing the whistle—and the decision is yours, not ours.
If You Decide to Become a False Claims Act Whistleblower
If you decide to blow the whistle under the False Claims Act, we will continue to advise you, but we will also take on the role of representative. Your false claims whistleblower lawyer will assist you with preparing your whistleblower complaint to submit to the federal government. Your attorney will then submit your complaint to the DOJ; and, from this point forward, your attorney will communicate with the government’s attorneys and investigators on your behalf.
Once you file a whistleblower complaint under the FCA, there are two major steps in the process: investigation and litigation.
First, the DOJ will investigate the allegations in your whistleblower complaint. The purpose of this investigation is not to question your credibility or assess your motives for filing the complaint, but rather to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a civil or criminal enforcement action. The FCA allows for both types of enforcement, and the DOJ takes cases of fraud, waste, and abuse very seriously. As former DOJ attorneys, we are familiar with the Department’s investigative policies and procedures, and we can provide assistance every step of the way.
After investigating, the DOJ will make a decision regarding litigation. At this stage, it has two options: intervention or declination. If the DOJ intervenes, it will pursue civil or criminal litigation directly. If it declines to intervene, you will have the option to pursue litigation on behalf of the federal government in what is known as a relator lawsuit.
Regardless of how your FCA whistleblower complaint progresses, we will represent you at no out-of-pocket cost. Exposing fraud, waste, and abuse is important, and we are passionate about helping those who are willing to come forward.
When Can You File a Whistleblower Complaint Under the False Claims Act?
We represent whistleblowers who have information about all forms of fraud, waste, and abuse under federal government contracts and programs. False Claims Act violations can take many forms; and, with the extraordinary numbers of federal government contractors, subcontractors, and program participants, the federal government relies on whistleblowers to help it determine when civil or criminal enforcement action is necessary.
If you believe that you have information about any form of fraud, waste, or abuse under a federal contract or program, we encourage you to speak with a whistleblower lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. We represent whistleblowers who have information about “false and fraudulent claims” including (but not limited to):
- Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare fraud
- Federal grant fraud
- Government contract fraud
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud
- “Reverse false claims” involving underpayment or failure to pay amounts owed to the federal government
No fraud should be allowed to go unnoticed. Fraud not only costs taxpayer dollars, but it also undermines confidence in federal programs, contracts, and services. As a result, fraud costs everyone, and it does so to the tune of billions of dollars per year.
In terms of the type and amount of information you need to file a whistleblower complaint under the False Claims Act, this varies case-by-case. Our attorneys can determine whether you have sufficient information to come forward—in addition to helping you understand all other aspects of serving as a whistleblower under the FCA.
FAQs: Blowing the Whistle Under the False Claims Act
What does the False Claims Act prohibit?
Under the False Claims Act, it is a violation of federal law to “knowingly present, or cause to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval,” or to “knowingly make, use, or cause to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim.” As a result, the False Claims Act prohibits submitting false and fraudulent claims for payment under federal programs (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid), federal grants, and federal contracts.
The FCA also prohibits “reverse false claims,” which involve knowingly delivering less than all of the money or property that a party owes to the federal government. Additionally, any parties that are involved in conspiring to submit false and fraudulent claims (including reverse false claims) are subject to the same penalties as parties that submit false or fraudulent claims to the government.
What does it mean to be a “relator” under the False Claims Act?
“Relator” is another term for a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. To qualify as a relator (or whistleblower) under the False Claims Act, an individual must meet three basic requirements:
- The individual must have material information about a violation of the False Claims Act;
- The individual must be the first person to disclose this information to the federal government; and,
- The information disclosed must not be publicly available at the time of disclosure.
If you have information about fraud, waste, or abuse under a federal government contract, grant, or program, a false claims whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C. can determine if you qualify as a relator. If you do, and if you decide to come forward, your attorney can then work with the federal government on your behalf.
Am I entitled to confidentiality as a False Claims Act whistleblower (or relator)?
When you file a whistleblower complaint under the False Claims Act, your complaint will be kept “under seal.” This means that your identity and the information you provide will only be available to relevant governmental authorities for purposes related to the government’s investigation and prosecution. While it is possible to have this seal lifted in some cases, a false claims whistleblower attorney can help protect your identity to the fullest extent possible.
Can I file a False Claims Act whistleblower complaint if I have an NDA?
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) generally can’t prohibit employees (or other individuals) from reporting fraud, waste, or abuse to the government, as these types of prohibitions are against public policy. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle and are subject to an NDA, our attorneys can review your contract and help you make informed decisions about your next steps.
How can a false claims whistleblower attorney help me?
From determining whether you qualify as a whistleblower (or relator) under the False Claims Act to working with the federal government on your behalf, there are many ways that an experienced false claims whistleblower attorney will be able to help you. It costs nothing to learn more; and, if you are thinking about blowing the whistle, we encourage you to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.
Arrange a Free and Confidential Consultation at Oberheiden P.C.
To speak with a false claims whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C., please call 888-680-1745 or contact us online. We will arrange for you to meet with one of our senior attorneys in confidence as soon as possible.