Record Level of Recovery in Qui Tam Whistleblower Claims
The federal government recovered a record 2.8 billion dollars in false claim cases during the 2011 year brought by whistleblowers. Over 640 qui tam lawsuits were filed in 2011, which is nearly double the number of whistleblower actions filed annually in preceeding years.
The vast majority of the cases filed under the False Claims Act involved health care fraud including those involving Medicare and Medicaid, as well as VA and federal employee health benefits. Whistleblower qui tam lawsuits involve ordinary citizens that expose financial fraud and other misconduct that jeopardizes public funds or safety.
The False Claim Act includes a "qui tam" provision that permits ordinary citizens to pursue actions on behalf of the government. The law also permits a whistleblower to recover compensation for successful recovery by the government which typically amounts to 15-25 percent of the amount of the funds recovered. While the government has a period of time to analyze the action and determine whether it wishes to intervene in the qui tam action, the more significant the role of the private citizen the greater the percentage of recovery to the citizen.
The vast majority of the recovery of funds during 2011 has involved pharmaceutical companies. The total amount recovered in qui tam actions during the 2011 year against drug companies is $2.2 billion. A group of eight drug companies paid almost a billion dollars based on the fraudulent acts of increasing its profits through illegal pricing practices. GlaxoSmithKline PLC also paid three-quarters of a billion dollars based on practices involving the submission of false claims for adulterate drugs that were not in compliance with FDA specifications.
Recent legislation that has been enacted to assist in enforcement of the False Claims Act appears to be generating the hoped for improvement both in terms of the number of qui tam actions and the amount of taxpayer funds recovered from companies and individuals that attempt to defraud programs like public health care programs. The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) have led to improved enforcement and larger verdicts and settlements in qui tam cases.
If you are aware of financial fraud or other misconduct by a company that is harming taxpayers or resulting in the waste of valuable tax dollars, our experienced Georgia qui tam attorneys understand the extraordinary courage it can take to come forward and expose such illegal or unethical conduct. Our Georgia qui tam lawyers assist our clients in compliance with the procedures of the False Claim Act.
Our Georgia qui tam attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.