Fraudulent Claims of Eligibility for a Program
Atlanta Attorney for FCA Claims
Do you know about someone who got a government contract or loan that the company was never eligible for in the first place? If you file a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act, you can do the right thing and get taxpayer money back for the U.S.
If your whistleblower lawsuit is successful, you can get 15-30% of all the money that the United States recovers from the company that was cheating it. False Claims Act lawyer Lee Wallace has twenty years of experience and a degree with honors from Harvard Law School.
See whether she can help you file an FCA lawsuit.
Do I Have a Whistleblower Case?
The Government sets up programs to help certain groups. Sometimes people are so eager to get the benefit of the program that they pretend to be eligible – even though clearly they are not. If you know of someone who was ineligible for a contract or Government loan, but got it anyway by fraud, you may be able to file a whistleblower case as what is called a “relator”. To see if your case qualifies, feel free to call our office at (404) 550-4615.
False Claims Include Claims for Services a Claimant Is Ineligible to Receive
Government programs have a limited amount of funding, and if someone gets part of that money on false pretenses, the agency has less money to give to the people who were intended to benefit from the program.
In the legislative history for the False Claims Act, Congress made it clear that the FCA is supposed to apply to companies that make fraudulent claims that they are eligible for a government program:
- “[C]laims may be false even though the services are provided as claimed if, for example, the claimant is ineligible to participate in the program.” S. Rep. No. 345, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. 9 (1986), reprinted in 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5266, 5274.
As a Tennessee district court put it:
- “the False Claims Act was intended to govern not only fraudulent acts that create a loss to the government but also those fraudulent acts that cause the government to pay out sums of money to claimants it did not intend to benefit.” United States ex rel. Pogue v. American Healthcorp, 914 F. Supp. 1507, 1513 (M.D. Tenn. 1996).
If you believe you know about a business that is laying claim to contracts or benefits it is not entitled to receive, contact our Atlanta whistleblower lawyer to see whether you have a potential False Claims Act lawsuit.
Examples of FCA Whistleblower Cases of Ineligible Companies Receiving Government Benefits Or Contracts
SBA loans, grants and designations:
- The Small Business Association was set up to help small businesses, but some bigger businesses and ineligible companies are trying to muscle in on the action. SBA loan and grant money is being siphoned off by companies that are not eligible to receive it, which means that the money is not left for the small businesses for which the program is intended. Additionally, SBA-certified companies have certain advantages when they bid for Government contracts. If a company lies about whether it meets the requirements, it is competing unfairly with the businesses that really do qualify.
- In December 2012, two defense contractors agreed to pay the U.S. $6.25 million for making false statements to the SBA. The contractors, both based in Kentucky, had falsely told the SBA that their principal offices were in a zone that had been designated as having low-income and high unemployment. The SBA certifies small businesses that keep their main offices in these designated areas as “HUBZone” companies, and then those companies get an advantage when they bid for contracts. The contractors did not actually have their offices in the areas, however. Thanks to a whistleblower, the SBA learned that the company had given a false address. When the government investigated, it found a vacant office building at the address the defense contractors had provided.
- Typically the FCA is not used against an individual whose fraud has been small, has committed a small food stamp fraud by an individual is not sufficient to merit a False Claims Act. On the other hand, the FCA could be used to stop a grocery store that has been accepting food stamps for items that do not qualify for aid.
- Medicare and Medicaid set certain reimbursement rates for medical procedures. Some medical clinics and hospitals have been caught billing full physician rates for P.A.s, medical students and other professionals who are not entitled to reimbursement at the highest rate.
Reach The Wallace Law Firm, LLC today to see whether Lee Wallace can help you hold a company accountable for defrauding the Government.
Lee graduated first in her class from Vanderbilt University, and has been named one of Georgia’s Legal Elite by Georgia Trend magazine.