Have you been accused of submitting false documents to the U.S. federal government? Are you unsure of the consequences you may face due to these allegations? Don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Anastopoulo Law Firm for advice and legal representation. We can help protect your rights if you are being prosecuted under the False Claims Act (FCA). Reach out to us today to learn how we can help.
Understanding the False Claims Act
The FCA is one of America’s oldest laws, dating back to 1863. Originally the FCA was passed by Congress after concerns emerged during the Civil War that suppliers to the Union Army were defrauding the U.S. military. Today, the FCA applies to those individuals who knowingly submit false claims to the U.S. federal government. A person can be found liable under the FCA if it is proven that a person:
- Knowingly submitted a false claim to the U.S. government;
- Caused another to submit a false claim to the U.S. government; or
- Knowingly created a false statement or record in order to fraudulently receive a payment from the federal government.
Furthermore, under the “reverse false claims” section of the FCA, one can be considered in violation of the FCA even when they act improperly by attempting to avoid paying money owed to the federal government. There is also liability for those who unsuccessfully conspired with others to violate the FCA. Under the FCA, treble damages can be imposed for those found guilty of violation, which triples the original damage amount awarded by the court, and penalties under the FCA range from $5,000 to 10,000 per violation.
The FCA & Whistleblowers
The FCA is commonly referred to as the “Whistleblower Law” because it allows private citizens to bring suit against those that they believe to be defrauding the federal government. Though brought by a private individuals, a FCA suit is considered to have been actually brought on behalf of the federal government, and such suits are referred to as “qui tam actions,” while the private individual bringing the suit is considered a “realtor.” Given the risk of retribution for reporting the FCA violations of others, many would-be whistleblowers are deterred from filing FCA violations. However, the federal government which is often distanced from private businesses and citizens, depends on the reporting of FCA violations by good samaritans in order to unearth mass frauds and other violations. As a result, relators in FCA suits are incentivized to report violations because they are entitled to collect between 15 to 30 percent of all funds recovered in successful FCA suits.
Contact Anastopoulo Law Firm For FCA Legal Representation Today
FCA suits can be difficult and time consuming unless you have legal representation on your side. Contact the South Carolina attorneys at the Anastopoulo Law Firm today for skilled representation so your rights are protected each step of the way.