Government Wants to Settle, Whistleblowers Don’t

What happens when the government wants to settle a False Claims Act case, but the whistleblowers who filed the case don’t?  That was the question before the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Airport hangar owners David Shepard and William Marvel brought a whistleblower case against the …

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Far-Fetched Whistleblower Claim of the Month

The hospital industry is accustomed to far-fetched whistleblower claims: allegations that a hospital knowingly submitted false or fraudulent Medicare or Medicaid claims or fired a whistleblower for trying to prevent such activity.  But in terms of far-fetched claims decided in January, whistleblower Jana Endicott …

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False Claims that Don’t Violate the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act (FCA) establishes heavy liability (treble damages and penalties that can exceed over $20,000 per claim) for any person who knowingly presents a false claim for payment to the government.  It also provides a right of action for any employee fired for trying to stop violations of the act. So …

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The Difference between Expecting Referrals & Inducing Them

A new Fifth Circuit opinion explains the difference between offering a benefit in order to induce a Medicare referral and offering it in the expectation of a referral.  The difference is important because the former is a serious federal crime, while the latter is perfectly legal. Whistleblower Susan Ruscher …

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False Claims that Don’t Violate the False Claims Act

A recent Fourth Circuit decision answers this riddle, “How can a contractor knowingly submit a false claim to the government without violating the False Claims Act (FCA)?”  Give up?  The answer is blindingly obvious—once you’ve heard it. The answer is that a false claim doesn’t violate the FCA …

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7th Cir. Demands Objective Standards in Whistleblower Complaint

On September 1 the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of three of a whistleblower’s four fraud allegations against a mental health clinic, ruling that the allegations were based on the whistleblower’s subjective judgment rather than objective standards. Rose Presser worked at Acacia Mental Health Clinic as …

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