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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Will In-House Attorneys Reach for their Whistles?

The news is full of stories about whistleblowers collecting millions from their former employers.  Surely at least a few in-house lawyers fantasize about that kind of payday.  After all, who knows better than an in-house lawyer where the bodies are buried?  But the fantasy usually ends with recollection that …

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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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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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Whistleblower Can’t Use Discovery Info to Satisfy Rule 9(b)

Rule 9(b) requires a whistleblower alleging fraud to “state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud.”  Tom Bingham provided the particularity, but his case was nevertheless dismissed because of the way he came by the information. Tom filed a qui tam action against HCA alleging that it …

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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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