Bad News for Whistleblowers: Defendant Pleads Guilty

At first glance, it looks nonsensical. How could it be bad news for False Claims Act whistleblowers that the defendant pleaded guilty to violating that statute—to committing the very Medicare fraud the whistleblowers alleged? The explanation lies in two legal principles and one fact. First, there’s a …

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Defendant Seeks Attorney Fees from Whistleblower’s Attorneys

When a qui tam case is dismissed, it’s not unusual for the defendant to seek an order requiring the whistleblower to reimburse its attorneys’ fees. What is unusual is for the defendant to seek an order requiring the whistleblower’s attorneys, rather than the whistleblower himself, to make the payment. But …

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Jurisdiction to Freeze Assets but Not to Thaw Them

A recent Fourth Circuit opinion in a False Claims Act case demonstrates that while the government can freeze defendants’ assets before trial with lightning speed, getting them unfrozen can take anywhere from many years to never. In 2014 whistleblowers filed a qui tam action against BlueWave Healthcare …

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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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