False Claims Act and Qui Tam Claims in Columbus

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Columbus, Ohio False Claims Act Attorneys | Qui Tam | Whistleblowers

One of the bravest things people can do is speak out against someone who has power over them and is breaking the law. In instances when it’s your employer who’s defrauding the government, you have the right to bring these fraudulent activities to light.
If you’re concerned about fraud you’ve witnessed, turn to a whistleblower attorney in Columbus, Ohio, to get the assistance you need when filing a qui tam lawsuit. Our team at Oliver Law Office can offer legal protection you can trust.

Understanding Qui Tam Lawsuits in Ohio

A qui tam lawsuit is a legal option that lets individuals sue on the United States’ behalf if they believe the government is the victim of fraud. The private citizen in a qui tam lawsuit is the whistleblower, and the Federal False Claims Act protects them.

The Federal False Claims Act

The Federal False Claims Act was created during the Civil War but is now a powerful tool for protecting the government against fraud. It also provides several protections for whistleblowers and makes provisions for qui tam lawsuits.

For example, the FCA provides financial incentives to whistleblowers. If the government recovers money from the lawsuit, the whistleblower can receive a percentage of that recovery.

Another important provision of the FCA is the chance to keep the qui tam lawsuit from being made public while the government conducts its investigations. The government can take over the lawsuit, allowing the whistleblower to step aside. If the government chooses not to intervene, the whistleblower can continue the lawsuit alone.
Under the FCA, whistleblowers also benefit from anti-retaliation protection. They can be protected from an employer firing them, harassing them, demoting them, or discriminating against them because of the qui tam lawsuit.
Despite all of the protections the FCA affords, having a qualified lawyer by your side is always important as you begin the process for key support.

Who Can File a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

Under the FCA, anyone who knows fraud is committed against the government can file a qui tam lawsuit. Employees of companies that are defrauding the government are the most common whistleblowers. That’s because they’re in positions where they can access a lot of information about the company’s inner workings.
Contractors and competitors can become aware of government fraud and file a lawsuit. In rare cases, public citizens might know about fraud.
It’s important to know that only the first whistleblower who brings forward a specific instance of fraud can continue the case under the FCA. Subsequent claims that try to file lawsuits regarding the same instance of fraud tend to be dismissed.

How to File a Qui Tam Claim

To file a qui tam lawsuit, the whistleblower must have independent and direct knowledge of the information that is the basis of the allegations and must have voluntarily provided this information to the government before filing the lawsuit.
The whistleblower also can’t file a qui tam lawsuit based on information that the media, government reports, or other sources made public. The only exception is if the whistleblower is the original source of that information.
Because of these complexities, it’s important to consult with a whistleblower lawyer to ensure that they’re eligible. If you’re unsure how to begin, the knowledgeable team at Oliver Law Office in Columbus, OH, can guide you on your next steps.

Types of Fraud You Can Report in a Qui Tam Lawsuit

A whistleblower can file a qui tam lawsuit for financial fraud committed against the government. Qui tam cases are most effective in identifying and punishing fraud in areas where the government spends significantly.

Healthcare Fraud

One of the most common areas of fraud is the healthcare sector. Fraud can include false billing by healthcare providers, like overbilling or billing for services patients didn’t receive. Other types of healthcare fraud include offering unnecessary medical services or providing kickbacks for patient referrals.

Pharmaceutical Fraud

Pharmaceutical fraud may include false billing, off-label drug marketing, manufacturing and selling substandard medications and making false claims about a drug. Price fixing can also constitute pharmaceutical fraud.

Government Contractor Fraud

If contractors overcharge for goods or services or fail to meet contract requirements while charging the same amount, they’re committing fraud. Contractors can also commit fraud by charging for non-compliant products or not providing goods and services that the government has already paid for.

COVID-19 Relief Funds Fraud

This type of fraud refers to the illegal use of funds to offer relief related to COVID-19, especially in programs like the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program. Common fraudulent activities involving these include misusing funds and providing false information to obtain loans.

Education Fraud

If educational institutions falsify information to obtain government-funded grants, it’s fraud. Misrepresenting research information or lying about student data is also illegal.

Environmental Fraud

Environmental fraud could include misusing funds for environmental purposes, like conservation or cleanup projects. It may also involve falsifying ecological compliance reports.

Customs and Import Fraud

Customs and import fraud can involve violating trade agreements or underreporting the value of imported goods.

Defense Contractor Fraud

Defense contractor fraud involves illegal billing practices, charging for services they didn’t provide, and supplying substandard materials.

Why You Should Hire a Whistleblower Lawyer

Filing a qui tam lawsuit is a complex process you don’t want to handle alone. When you hire a lawyer with experience in whistleblower claims, they will be able to give you crucial insight into what your rights are and what you can expect from the process.
Fraud reporting cases can take a significant emotional toll on the whistleblower. You could fear retaliation, struggle with job security, and face many other issues. When you turn to a lawyer familiar with whistleblower law, you can focus on navigating your daily life while your lawyer handles the legal complexities of your lawsuit.
You want to work through the process efficiently because you don’t have unlimited time to file a lawsuit after discovering fraud in Ohio. A qui tam lawyer knows how to reach out to the proper government agencies effectively and understands what evidence can work to prove your claim.

Turn to an Ohio Qui Tam Lawyer for Whistleblower Protection

You want to work through the process efficiently because you don’t have unlimited time to file a lawsuit after discovering fraud in Ohio. A qui tam lawyer knows how to reach out to the proper government agencies effectively and understands what evidence can work to prove your claim.
Our skilled team at Oliver Law Office is committed to defending your rights as a citizen. We’re a women-led firm with a proven record of compassionate and relentless representation.
Because we’ve protected whistleblowers for over 20 years, we know the toll that being a whistleblower can take. To ease some of the stress, we offer virtual consultations and even house calls to ensure you get the legal help you deserve when you need it most.
You must act quickly to preserve your rights. Contact us to speak with a whistleblower lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, today.
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JAMI S. OLIVER

When Jami Oliver launched her own firm in 2000, she did so with one simple idea in mind: to seek justice for those who have been hurt, injured, or wronged due to the negligence of others. While she’s won numerous awards and accolades in the years since, her philosophy hasn’t changed. If you need an attorney who can advocate for you after an accident, product recall, or other tragedy, the Oliver Law Office should be your first choice.