Two Patients Blow Whistle
Alleged Financial Inducements
Realtors Will Share $5.6 Million Reward
In Fiscal Year 2022, private citizens helped the government recover $1.9 billion in cases of fraud against the government. The False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq., allows individuals with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to initiate actions on behalf of the government to recover government funds paid out as a result of fraudulent claims. 31 U.S.C. §3730(b). The citizens, known as “relators,” brought the cases, referred to as “qui tam” cases,” under the FCA. If the government recovers, these individuals are eligible for rewards. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d). Relators received over $488 million in rewards during Fiscal Year 2022. Relators of fraudulent conduct are often employees, or former employees, or (in healthcare cases) patients of the business engaging in the fraud. False certification of eligibility for government funds is one significant source of government fraud, as the reported case below illustrates. If you have credible information of government fraud in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Testing Laboratory Settles FCA Allegations For $19 Million
In a recent settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice, a large provider of clinical laboratory services has agreed to pay $19 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by its submission of false claims to Medicare. The settlement resolves specific allegations that defendant caused the submission of false claims to Medicare as a result of providing phlebotomy services for patients whose health care providers were ordering laboratory testing from the provider at a time when Relators allege defendant’s affiliates were paying health care providers process and handling fees as an inducement to refer patients.
“Health care decisions should be based on what is in the best interest of the patient, and not on financial incentives and related schemes,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs for the District of South Carolina. “The efforts of relators … are essential to protecting the integrity of our Medicare system, and we thank them for bringing these allegations forward.”
Fundamentals Of A Qui Tam Case
Qui tam cases begin with filing a complaint in the federal district court where the allegedly fraudulent conduct occurred. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). The complaint is filed under seal. The government has sixty days to review the allegations and decide whether to intervene. This review period can be extended. If the government decides to intervene, the government essentially takes over the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c). If the government decides not to intervene, the relator has the right to continue the litigation on his or her own. If the relator continues the litigation alone, he or she receive a larger percentage of the amount the government eventually recovers. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d). The relator may also pursue claims for wrongful retaliation against the defendant if the relator was fired or demoted as a result of blowing the whistle. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).
If you have credible information of government fraud call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267) or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. In addition to FCA and CFCA whistleblower cases, Ingrid and Evans Law Firm, Inc. also handle bank fraud whistleblower cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.