History makes it clear that whistleblowers are invaluable contributors to a democratic society. A brave individual blowing the whistle on his or her unethical company can save countless lives, not to mention a significant amount of taxpayer money.
Recovery for Employees Under the Whistleblower/False Claim Act
Of course, being a whistleblower is often difficult, and navigating the relevant state and federal laws requires a skilled, experienced lawyer. Federal laws provide protection to whistleblowers, and you have the right to avail yourself of those protections, as well as to aggressively seek recovery of the compensation to which you are entitled as a federally protected whistleblower.
In the past two decades, close to $30 billion has been recovered through whistleblower cases filed under the False Claim Act. The attorneys at the Shealey Law Firm have the experience, sophistication and the know-how to make sure you get the maximum recovery under the False Claim Act.
Do not hesitate to contact us immediately.
What is the False Claims Act?
The federal government has long recognized that whistleblowers can play an important role in calling out corruption in both the private and public sectors. That’s where the False Claims Act can be utilized.
Originally passed during the Civil War, the False Claims Act both protects and incentivizes whistleblowers. It is designed to encourage those with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to come forward and report it.
It does so by offering financial incentives. Under the FCA, a whistleblower (known in legal terminology as a “relator”) can file a legal claim against a private company in the name of the federal government, which then has 60 days to determine if it will pursue the claim. If the federal government decides to pursue a claim, the relator is entitled to a percentage of the recovery.
If it does decide to intervene in the case, the relator and his or her attorney can elect to pursue the claim, and the relator receives a portion of those damages- usually between 15 and 25 percent.
The FCA also provides legal protections for whistleblowers against retribution. But actually taking advantage of these incentives and protections requires a complete understanding of your legal rights under federal law.
What Can Constitute a False Claim Under the Act?
- When a party knowingly presents a false claim or fraudulent claim for payment to the government;
- When a party knowingly makes a false claim or false record to get a fraudulent claim paid;
- When a party conspires to submit a false claim or statement to attempt to get a fraudulent claim paid;
- When a party knowingly deprives the government of money that the party knows the government is due.
Where Do We Often See False Claims Occur?
- Fraud in the healthcare industry: Federally Subsidized Medical Service Areas, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. False Claims can commonly occur in the hospital setting or private health care provider setting.
- Fraud with federal contractors: Military Contracts, Research Grants, and other areas where the government contracts with private companies.
If you’ve witnessed unethical or illegal behavior from your company and you’re considering blowing the whistle, don’t let fear stop you. Our false claims lawyers can protect you. Please call the Shealey Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. Our office is located in Charleston, South Carolina, but we help clients from across the state.