False Claims Act / Qui Tam
Under the False Claims Act, Congress empowers private citizens with knowledge of fraudulent claims being made against the federal government to file suit on behalf of the government to recover compensatory damages, stiff civil penalties, and treble damages.
Congress enacted the False Claims Act during the Civil War when the war effort kept the government from investigating and prosecuting fraud. Under the False Claims Act, Congress empowered private citizens with knowledge of fraudulent claims being made against the federal government to file suit on behalf of the government to recover compensatory damages, stiff civil penalties, and treble damages.
We are recognized as one of the nation’s leading law firms working in the area of civil False Claims Act litigation. In May, 1995, the Firm assisted the U.S. Government in concluding a Medicare fraud case with the third largest False Claims Act recovery (US $8.6 million) paid by a national medical testing laboratory. We currently represent clients in several pending False Claims Act cases across the United States, including cases involving:
- Fraud by defense contractors who conspired with suppliers to set artificially low prices on cost-plus contracts;
- Fraud by building contractors on HUD projects, billing for substandard work and work not performed;
- Fraud by medical testing labs who billed the U.S. for tests that they never performed;
- Fraud by durable medical equipment suppliers selling inferior equipment as superior equipment;
- Fraud by mental health providers billing the U.S. for services by unqualified personnel, and services which never were performed;
- Fraud by pharmaceutical companies billing the U.S. for excessive amounts of drugs never used or usable by patients;
- Time sheet fraud by defense contractors, billing commercial work to government jobs;
- Fraud by companies which claimed government approvals which they in fact never had; and
- Fraud by a manufacturer which knowingly made defective products but sold them to the U.S., certifying that they met specifications.
The Firm has published a number of papers in this area and given seminars including Identifying, Bringing, and Winning a False Claims Act Case, 1997 ABA Annual Meeting, and Using the False Claims Act for Competitive Advantage, Maryland Bar Journal 28 (Jan.-Feb. 1997).
Simms Showers has a depth of knowledge about working with government prosecutors in False Claims Act cases. Many of its attorneys are former United States Department of Justice prosecutors. We work regularly with False Claims Act investigators to develop and evaluate False Claims Act cases.
Many of the Firm’s cases are originated by attorneys from other firms who have not worked in the False Claims Act area but who have clients they believe may have a False Claims Act case. Simms Showers works regularly with these attorneys through co-counsel arrangements.