False Claims Act Case Alleging False Grant Requests
Large Settlement and Whistleblower/Relator Award
Under the False Claims Act (FCA), the federal government rewards whistleblowers who present credible, original information of false claims made to government agencies for payments and reimbursements. The cases are known as qui tam cases and the whistleblowers in those FCA cases are referred to as “relators.” The California whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent whistleblowers/relators in false claims cases. Healthcare entities, contractors, research institutions, service providers and others may commit fraud against the government by overcharging, billing for services or equipment that is never provided, paying illegal kickbacks and falsifying data provided to the government in order to receive payments or grants. If you have credible information for a false claims whistleblower case or any other whistleblower case in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.
Research institutions may defraud the government by submitting false requests for research funding. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Duke University agreed to settle one such qui tam case for $112.5 million. The relator pursued the case on the government’s behalf after the government itself declined to intervene, and due to his perseverance will receive 30 percent of the settlement amount, or $33.75 million. Relator was a former lab analyst who alleged that his employer knowingly falsified data to obtain millions of grant dollars from the National Institute of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the settlement, the university admitted that a research technician, who was fired for embezzling grant funds in 2013, had, in some cases, completely falsified data or statements used to obtain federal funding. The settlement amount includes reimbursement for grants allegedly received as a result of the falsified data, as well as penalties. Duke has also retracted scientific publications based on the results of the falsified research and is expected to implement a series of steps to improve the integrity and oversight of research on campus.
The case illustrates the ultimate rewards that may await a persistent whistleblower/relator even when the government declines to intervene in a case. If you have credible information of fraud under the False Claims Act we recommend you consult with counsel regarding how best to proceed. To be eligible for a reward, whistleblowers must report the fraud through appropriate and timely court filings or an application addressed to the appropriate government agency. That is where the California whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm can help. Our attorneys know the appropriate procedures for your type of allegation and know how to organize and present your credible, original information and documentation in the most effective way. Additionally, the FCA and other whistleblower statutes protect you from retaliation by your employer for blowing the whistle on fraud. If you are fired because you brought any fraud to light, you can fight back. You may be entitled to sue your employer in federal court and seek double back pay (with interest), reinstatement, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and reimbursement for certain costs in connection with the litigation. Our California whistleblower attorneys can represent you in any action for retaliation as well as represent you in your underlying whistleblower application.
Our whistleblower attorneys handle all types of whistleblower cases involving bank fraud under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA/FIAFEA), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program, the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and federal and California False Claims Act cases. If you or a loved one has information regarding federal or California false claims, offshore tax avoidance schemes against the IRS, or securities fraud in violation of SEC and CFTC regulations, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other California whistleblower and false claims attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
 Evans Law Firm was not involved in the case in any way. The citation for the case is U.S. ex rel. Thomas v. Duke University, et al., No. 1:17-cv-276-CCE-JLW (M.D. N.C.).