TYPES OF FRAUD:
The False Claims Act, is a Federal statute which seeks to recover government funds wrongfully paid out to individuals, companies or agencies that submitted false claims or who made false certifications in bills, contracts or other government documents. Government fraud is most rampant in:
- Medicaid and Medicare programs
- Pharmaceutical and medical device industries
- Defense and military contracts
- Construction industry
- Finance and mortgage industries; and
- Colleges and universities receiving grants and funds from federal loan programs.
In addition, some States, now more than half of the U.S. states, including New York and New Jersey, and a growing number of municipalities, like New York City and Chicago, have their own False Claims Acts designed to combat fraud against government, especially Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law are additional federal laws which are used to combat healthcare fraud. The Federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the exchange (or offer to exchange), of anything of value, in an effort to induce (or reward) an individual to refer patients for medical services or supplies which are billable to Medicaid or Medicare.
The Stark Law, commonly known as the "physician self-referral law", prohibits a physician from referring patients for certain medical services payable by Medicare to any entity with which he or she (or an immediate family member) has a financial relationship (ownership, investment, or compensation), unless an exception applies.
Whistleblowers can bring a claim for violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and/or the Stark Law when they file a False Claims Act case.
Just like those who report fraud, those who commit fraud against the government come from all walks of life: blue collar and white collar, office workers, accountants, executives, medical professionals, corporate executives and more.
While most of the early successes in Qui Tam lawsuits have been litigated against defense contractors, more and more cases are being filed on behalf of other Federal agencies including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and Education, as well as NASA and the EPA.
These cases may involve a number of different violations such as labor and environmental statutes. Of the most recent fraud actions filed, many have been against hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, physicians, large cities, counties and smaller local municipalities.
The False Claims Act and most state and municipal False Claims Acts have anti-retaliation provisions which protect relators. Under the False Claims Act, a relator cannot be fired, suspended or demoted as a result of reporting fraud to the government. Any victim of such retaliation may receive job reinstatement, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.
New Jersey also has a Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA"). In general, New Jersey's CEPA Statute prohibits an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee who blows the whistle on conduct he or she reasonably believed was either (a) in violation of a law or rule or regulation issued under the law (including laws, rules, and regulations prohibiting fraud and criminal conduct), or (b) incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning public health, safety, or welfare or the protection of the environment.
The whistleblower attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP have the knowledge, experience, and passion to fight fraud against the government, while ensuring that your rights are protected. Our lawyers have a proven track record with recoveries that exceed $70 million. We have been recognized for our exceptional work by New York Magazine in its December 2011 Super Lawyers edition.
If you believe you have evidence of fraud against the government, contact us for a free, confidential consultation at our 24/7 hotline at 1-866-734-6083, or by submitting an email inquiry.
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") has its own, separate Whistleblower Program implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act, which permits recovery for financial, corporate and stock fraud.
You can be a whistleblower if you have evidence of securities fraud, investment fraud, insider trading, stock fraud, and accounting fraud, are eligible to receive 10% to 30% of recoveries of $1 million or more that the SEC collects in criminal or civil cases.. In such cases, the legal help of an experienced securities fraud attorney is highly recommended and is the only way you can file your case anonymously.
Responsive to whistleblower fears of employer retaliation, the new law does not require the would-be whistleblower to report the fraud to his employer first. Rather, the law allows whistleblowers to file a complaint directly with the SEC.
Recently, the SEC reported that it received 334 whistleblower tips between the time the new program became effective on August 12, 2011 and September 30th. Among those who have filed claims are a former BNY Mellon currency trader and two former State Street currency employees. The allegations against their former employer-banks center on claims that they overpriced certain currency trades for large institutional clients by using less-advantageous exchange rates to maximize their own profits.
While the new program provides excellent opportunities for whistleblowers with original information, navigating the securities laws and dealing with the SEC can be both complex and time-consuming.
If you believe you have evidence of securities fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation at our 24/7 hotline at 1-866-734-6083, or by submitting an email inquiry.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) new whistleblower reward program allows those with information concerning violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, that leads to an enforcement action resulting in $1 million or more collected, to receive rewards worth 10 to 30% of the total recovery.
While all information provided regarding violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, which happened at any time, may be submitted to the CFTC; only information that was first submitted to the CFTC after July 21, 2010 - the date of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act - is eligible for a whistleblower reward.
In addition, the CFTC's whistleblower program protects you by prohibiting retaliation by employers against individuals who report information directly to the CFTC or who assist the CFTC in an investigation regarding violations of the Commodity Exchange Act.
The Commodity Exchange Act was enacted in 1936 and provides federal regulation of all commodities and futures trading activities and requires all futures and commodity options to be traded on organized exchanges. Violations may involve commodity futures or option trading on domestic commodity exchanges, or the improper marketing of commodity investments.
While the new program provides excellent opportunities for whistleblowers with original information, navigating the Commodity Exchange Act, the whistleblower program's rules and dealing with the CFTC can be both complex and time-consuming. Hiring a whistleblower attorney with knowledge and experience is crucial to maximizing your reward.
If you believe you have evidence of commodities fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation at our 24/7 hotline at 1-866-734-6083, or by submitting an email inquiry.
The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and New York State also have tax fraud whistleblower programs. Under the IRS Whistleblower Program, whistleblowers with proof that individuals or corporations have failed to pay taxes totaling $2 million or more, may qualify for an award of up to 15%-30% of the amount of money recovered by the government.
To qualify as a whistleblower under the New York False Claims Act, you must demonstrate that a person or business making more than $1 million in annual net income has defrauded the State of New York of more than $350,000 by knowingly making a false claim.
If you believe you have evidence of IRS or New York State tax fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation at our 24/7 hotline at 1-866-734-6083, or by submitting an email inquiry.
Our law firm handles cases nationwide and has offices throughout the U.S., including New York City, Upstate New York, New Jersey, and Georgia. We handle all of our whistleblower cases on a contingency fee basis.
If you believe you have evidence of fraud against the government, securities fraud, commodities fraud or IRS or New York State tax fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation at our 24/7 hotline at 1-866-734-6083, or by submitting an email inquiry.
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