New Developments in Federal False Claims in the 9th Circuit

Federal false claims settlements this year in our 9th circuit have included, by subject matter:

False invoices to avoid customs duties: $500,000.
Off-label prescription drug charges by a single doctor: $550,00.
Hospitals “donated” funds to county governments to fund the sate share of Medicaid payments: $75 million;
Mortgage lender falsely certified federally-insured loans complied with underwriting and certain quality control requirements: $123.5 million
Medically unnecessary dosing to create drug waste and billing government for wasted drugs: $450 million.
Software contractor overcharged the government and misrepresented commercial pricing.
Nursing home operator provided substandard or worthless services by over-medication: $3.8 million.

Some notable decisions include United States ex rel. Schroeder vs. CH2M Hill, (when does a relator’s active participation in the fraud prevent the relator from sharing an award with the government. Here, the relator had been found guilty of criminal conduct arising from submitting the same types of false time sheets for overtime that was the subject matter of the qui tam lawsuit.the court held that 31 USC Section 3730(D)(3) prohibits recovery regardless of whether the relator’s fraud was major or minor.

In Kellogg Brown & Root Servs. Inc. vs. United States ex rel Carter, 135 S. Ct 1970 the US Supreme Court discussed the statute of limitations application to False Claim Act cases. the law contains provisions for a six years within date of violation or within 3 years of the date the US should have known of the violation, but never more than 10 years. The relator contended that he Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (a tolling statute for any offense involving fraud against the US during wartime–allowed for a late filing where the claim involved conduct taking place during the Iraqi War of 2003. The significant of the holding may well be that a previously filed False Claims Act case which has been dismissed is NOT a bar to a later-filed claim, as long as the prior case has been dismissed. If it is still pending, then no further claim may be filed.

Saving the best for last, in US ex rel Hartpence vs. Kenetic Concepts, Inc., the court noted that a complaint had some fraud allegations not included in the first complaint. and therefore under the False claims Act (significantly before the 2010 amendments) may move forward. In short, a relator need not have a “hand in” the original public disclosures.

Attorneys at SD&A have represented qui tam litigants inn all aspects of federal (and state) false claims litigation.including health care, aerospace and other industries for over 30 years. We’d welcome the opportunity to review your case. While we can take only a small percentage of offered cases, we welcome the opportunity to review your case with you in complete confidence. There is never a “consulting” fee.