Stephen Danz & Associates – Experienced California False Claims Act Lawyers For State Government Whistleblowers
Strong Counsel For California Whistleblowers For Disclosing Fraud Involving California’s Government and Agencies
California has its own whistleblower law called the California False Claims Act. Like the federal False Claims Act, California provides a financial incentive to employees and other individuals to alert the government about over billing, providing bills for services that were never rendered, and other types of fraud.
The California False Claims Act (CFCA) was enacted in 1987. The CFCA makes it illegal to submit false claims for payment to any California agency or political subdivision (a city or county, for example) or to the state of California. The CFCA prohibits certain deceptive actions and the wrongful taking of property.
At Stephan Danz & Associates, our whistleblower attorneys are experienced federal and California False Claims Act attorneys. We have obtained substantial recoveries for our clients because we understand the laws, the underlying types of fraud, and how to properly present a fraud disclosure claim to the government. We also understand many of the practical issues such as what type of evidence the California Department of Justice finds persuasive.
Any person who commits any of the following acts will be liable under the CFCA:
- False claims for payments
- Using false records
- Making a reverse false claim to minimize what the government is due
- Many other types of misconduct
According to the California Attorney General’s office, California has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for violations of the CFCA. In addition to being forced to pay for the amount of the fraud, defendants must pay treble/triple damages for the fraud amount, and they must up to $11,000 for each infraction.
Similarities to the Federal False Claims Act
The California False Claim Act and the Federal False Claims Act both include the following provisions:
- Whistleblower actions are filed under seal so the government has time to investigate the claim and to decide if they want to intervene – prosecute the case against the wrongdoer.
- Whistleblowers who provide valuable tips and information may be entitled to a share of the recovery if the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Department of Justice, or a local prosecutor intervenes.
- Whistleblowers are entitled to protection from retaliation. Any company that wrongfully discharges an employee for disclosing fraud can be forced to rehire the employee, pay back wages and benefits, and pay civil damages plus legal fees.
- The whistleblower must be the first to file to be eligible for an award
The California Attorney General’s office specifically recommends that whistleblowers seek the advice of a qualified attorney because the CFCA is very complex.
Some efforts have been made recently, in California, to align the CFCA with the federal FCA.
Differences between the CFCA and the federal False Claims Act
Some of the differences between the state and federal laws are:
- Different definitions of what acts constitute fraud
- Who is liable when there are multiple defendants
- Different rules on reporting procedures
- The protections for whistleblowers
- Different statute of limitations
A large difference is the amount of the recovery.
- If the government intervenes:
- In federal cases, the reward is between 10 and 25%
- In California cases, the reward is between 15 and 33%
- If the government does not intervene and the case proceeds through the whistleblower’s lawyer:
- In federal cases, the reward is between 25 and 30%
- In California cases, the reward is between 25 and 50%
Understand your rights by making an appointment with a tough California False Claims Act lawyer as soon as possible
You may have a substantial recovery if you are aware of fraud involving payments by California or its agencies to physicians, contractors, or any individual or business. To obtain the recovery, you need an experienced California False Claims Act attorney on your side – one who understands how the process works and who is respected by government prosecutors. For help, please phone Stephen Danz and Associates at (877)-789-9707 to schedule a consultation. Our firm has a proven track record in handling False Claims Act cases.
Stephen Danz & Associates represents clients in all of California including Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Diego San Bernardino, Sacramento, Ventura County, Riverside and surrounding areas.
Call today for a free no obligation consultation.