Qui Tam Whistleblowers - The Whistleblawger
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Can you be a whistleblower against a state agency?

Whistleblower Case

Is a state or state agency a “person” for False Claim Act (FCA) whistleblower purposes?  This question is important because the language attaches liability to “any person who knowingly presents….false or fraudulent claims.” Since its inception in 1863, the FCA has been used by whistleblowers to recover money from individuals, corporations, and government contractors. Over the years, Congress has made several substantive changes to the Act; however, the issue of whether a state or state agency can be a “person” remained an open question.

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U.S. Intervenes In False Claims Act Case Alleging Kickbacks For Ambulance Services

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The United States filed a complaint on January 23, 2017, officially intervening in an alleged kickback scheme against East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, Inc., East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Services, Inc. (together “ETMC”), Paramedics Plus, LLC, Emergency Medical Services Authority (“EMSA”), and EMSA’s President, Herbert Stephen Williamson, alleging, among other things, violations of the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute.

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Attorney General Nominee Pledges Support to Fight Fraud using False Claims Act

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is being questioned this week at confirmation hearings on his nomination for U.S. Attorney General by President-elect Donald Trump.  On Tuesday, Senator Sessions pledged his support to fighting fraud against the government and his support of the False Claims Act as a means to do so.

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DOJ: $4.7 Billion In Recoveries From 2016 Whistleblower Cases

DOJ Whistleblower Attorneys

The United States released data last week showing that the Department of Justice (DOJ) recovered more than $4.7 billion in 2016 from settlements and judgments in whistleblower cases involving fraud or false claims against the government. This is the third largest annual recovery in the history of the modern False Claims Act (FCA), which dates back thirty years to 1986.

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Whistleblowers Earn Unanimous Supreme Court Win On Seal Violation Issue

Whistleblower Case

Last week, the Supreme Court issued an 8-0 decision in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, finding in favor of the whistleblowers a little more than a month after holding oral arguments. As we wrote in November, this decade-old case originates from a property insurance claim made in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The whistleblowers alleged that although their home was damaged by the hurricane, State Farm intentionally misclassified the damages as flooding in order to hoist the burden of payment on the United States.

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SEC Whistleblower Program reports that 2016 was a record-breaking year

SEC Whistleblower Award

On the eve of Thanksgiving, one thing we can be thankful for is the great year that the SEC Whistleblower Program had protecting the United States markets from fraud. In its annual report to Congress, the SEC detailed several encouraging trends that it experienced in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2016.

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Supreme Court Arguments on Seal Seem to Favor Relators

Oral arguments were held before the Supreme Court this week in the case of State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby.  The decade-old case originates from claims made by Cori and Kerrie Rigsby, sisters from Alabama, who filed a False Claims Act case alleging that State Farm defrauded the government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As background, State Farm was responsible for covering damages caused by windstorms while the United States had a program to pay for damages caused by flooding. The Rigsby sisters allege that State Farm intentionally misclassified windstorm damages as flooding to hoist the burden of payment on the United States.  In 2013, a jury in Mississippi found in favor of the Rigsbys, and determined that the United States had been damaged to the tune of $250,000.  Pursuant to the trebling and penalties provisions of the False Claims Act, the jury awarded more »

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Skilled Nursing Company to Pay $145 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Case

Whistleblower Case

On October 24, 2016, the Department of Justice announced a settlement with Life Care Centers of America Inc. (Life Care) and its owner, Forrest L. Preston. The defendants agreed to pay $145 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging that Life Care violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by knowingly causing skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to submit false claims to Medicare and TRICARE for rehabilitation therapy services that were not reasonable, necessary or skilled. Life Care, which is based in Cleveland, Tennessee, owns and operates more than 220 skilled nursing facilities across the United States. “This resolution is the largest settlement with a skilled nursing facility chain in the department’s history,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “It is critically important that we protect the integrity of government health care programs by ensuring that services are provided based on clinical rather more »

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Can Government Employees be Whistleblowers under the False Claims Act?

government employee whistleblowers

Members of government agencies often ask us whether their employment by the government impacts whether they can serve as a whistleblower in a qui tam case under the False Claims Act (“FCA”)?

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SEC Whistleblower Award Of $22 Million Goes To Monsanto Insider

SEC Whistleblower Award

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it issued an SEC whistleblower award of $22 million to an anonymous company insider who provided key information that resulted in Monsanto Company, a St. Louis-based agribusiness, agreeing to pay an $80 million penalty and retain an independent compliance consultant to settle charges that it violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings as they pertained to its flagship product Roundup, a popular weed-killer. 

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