Federal and state false claims acts have become common avenues for individuals concerned about the ethical and legal claims their employers make for reimbursements of payments from their governments.
Federal whistleblowers racked up $6.6 billion in awards for their claims in federal courts for the ten years between 2008 and 2017.
They caused their false claim employers to pay more than $56 billion in settlements that encompassed reimbursements, refunds, penalties and interest for the government.
Most of the claims were against the health-care industry – including drug companies, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, pharmacies, laboratories, and physicians.
Our firm’s false claims practice portrays the same picture. The other targets we took on were banks. Other areas of whistleblowers success is education, especially on-line institutions making false claims to the government for tuition and other education cost reimbursements, and military construction, equipment and supplies.
Several of our false claims act cases are currently in the investigations stage. The U. S. Attorney and we recently settled a claim against Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for $$1.67 million. Our client, Amy Beth Main, earned a significant award – in addition to community praise for her courage in bringing the fraud to light. (Please see links below).
The goal of the Act is to secure reimbursement to the government, plus penalties and fines, from the cheats. The equally important objectives are punishment of chiselers and deterrence from further violations.
As noted in other columns on our website, the Federal False Claims Act was enacted by congress at the request of the Lincoln Administration to curtail the arms industry from rampant false claim during the Civil War.
Today, many states, including Vermont, enacted similar false claims acts for the same reasons – firms chiseling their taxpayers.
Bringing a False Claims Act to curtail swindling of taxpayers can be successful if sufficient evidence of fraud is discovered and presented. As our clients have learned, we interview them and collect documentation they may have concerning the fraudulent conduct. Then we bring the claim, enlist the resources of U. S. Attorney for Vermont and proceed in a confidential investigation of the company’s activities.
The Vermont U. S. Attorney, Christina Nolan, as made prosecution of False Claims Acts a top priority for her office. Other U. S. Attorneys refer potential claims to her because of the success of her office and staff of attorneys in false claims act cases.
T.J.Donovan, Vermont’s Attorney General has emphasized Vermont’s False Claims Act. He recently announced a settlement between Mylan Inc, a Pennsylvania firm that manufactures, market and sells pharmaceuticals through a subsidiary. One of its products is the EpiPen, an epinephrine autoinjector for measured doses of adrenaline for treatment of anaphylaxis resulting from allergic reactions.
Mylan was accused of submitting false statements to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concerning the classification of covered drugs for rebates to the firm from the governments. The settlement required Mylan to pay $465 million to the U. S. and the States. Vermont was slated to receive $983,198.
This firm provides confidential consultations for individuals who believe their employer is or has swindled the United States or Vermont taxpayers – at a discounted hourly rate.