The False Claims Act (FCA) is one of the primary mechanisms for holding individual contractors accountable for submitting fraudulent cost or pricing claims. In addition, the law allows whistleblowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government when individual employees of a contractor violate the contract by knowingly making a false claim.
Whistleblowers can receive up to 30% of any settlement funds recovered from the contractor, and they do not have to disclose their identity during litigation. False claims can take many forms, which include the following.
- Overcharging the government by charging more than necessary for products or services
- Underbidding the government by charging less than essential for similar goods and services
- claiming credit intended only for subcontractors
- Falsifying data to win a bid
Suppose you suspect your company could be involved with a potential FCA violation involving one of its contractors. In that case, it’s important to understand false claim act attorneys who specialize in fighting these cases.
What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act is a provisional law that allows whistleblowers to sue individuals or companies that commit fraud against the government. When a whistleblower reports a potential violation, they often get awarded up to 30% of any funds recovered from the company.
False claims can take many forms, and contractors should be wary of any staff making false claims to win contracts. By understanding the potential for such violations, contractors can stay ahead of would-be offenders and prevent fraud before it happens.
What are some of the potential penalties for violating the False Claims Act?
If a contractor is found to have submitted a false claim and is subject to the FCA, they can be subject to fines or penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. In addition, they could also get charged with criminal penalties such as jail time or revocation of their government contracts.
Additionally, contractors who are found guilty of a violation may not be able to bid on further government contracts for five years. Finally, whistleblowers who file suits against contractors on behalf of the United States Government can receive up to 30% of any settlement funds recovered from the contractor. It provides an incentive for individuals who report potential violations of the False Claims Act to ensure that companies don’t continue fraudulent practices. Businesses and contractors need to stay up-to-date on changes that affect how they conduct business with the government to avoid mistakes like these.
What are some of the most common types of false claims?
The common types of false claims are overcharging and underbidding. In these cases, the government will have to pay more or less than it should. However, there is also a significant amount of falsifying data to win a bid. This deception often goes unnoticed because the same company is bidding on multiple projects simultaneously.
Some other common causes that contractors may get accused of include charging for goods and services that get not provided include following.
- Submitting fraudulent claims for discounts and rebates
- collecting offsets from employees without authorization
- receiving reimbursement for work performed on never delivered samples
Finally, contractors also get sued when they fail to implement proper FCA compliance policies at their companies. For example, suppose an employee fails to report a potential violation or does not provide evidence to prove that they said it timely. In that case, the contractor could be held accountable for the offense.
What are some of the steps to file a qui tam suit?
If a whistleblower believes that they have evidence that an individual contractor has violated the False Claims Act, they will file a lawsuit on behalf of the government. This lawsuit is called a qui tam suit, which means “against the claim.”
The whistleblower must meet certain criteria before filing this type of suit. These include having specific knowledge and information about an individual contractor. They also must show that they are financially unable to take action themselves and that their data is credible enough for people to take seriously.
Filing a qui tam suit is only one of many steps that could get taken after discovering evidence of wrongdoing. Other things include the following.
- Filing an administrative complaint
- Refusing to do business with the company in question
- Reporting it to law enforcement authorities like the FBI or Department of Justice (DOJ)
Whistleblowers must decide what course of action is best for them based on what kind of evidence they possess and how much it was worth when determining whether or not taking legal action would be worth it for them.
What are some benefits of working with a false claims act Attorney?
The benefits of working with a false claims act attorney include the following.
- You don’t need to be concerned about not getting paid for your work.
- They can use the FCA to pursue any contractor who has submitted fraudulent cost or pricing claims, including subcontractors and suppliers.
- False claims act attorneys can use litigation tactics to get the money back if you cannot collect on a settlement due to insufficient funds.
- False claims act attorneys can submit lawsuits without risking personal liability.
- False claims act attorneys can handle multiple cases simultaneously, which helps keep costs low and allow for individualized attention.
- False claims act lawyers can also represent whistleblowers who file lawsuits under the FCA, as well as identify additional sources of damages that may be part of an action.
False Claims Act Attorneys specialize in fighting against companies who may be cheating the government. They do so by filing lawsuits on behalf of the government and by providing advice and information to other whistleblowers about possible violations of the False Claims Act.
False Claims Act Attorneys are usually most effective when the fraud gets exposed to the public, and those involved get exposed to the public.
I hope you find this article useful!