Whistleblower and Qui Tam Attorney in Bakersfield
California whistleblower and qui tam attorneys located locally to protect Bakersfield employees who discover that the company committed fraud against the state or federal government. The most common cases take place when a worker blows the whistle on companies that knowingly cheat the government via the fraudulent use of public funds or by withholding money received from the government after they realize that they should have returned it. Therefore, whistleblowers enable the government to recover billions of dollars in potential losses. Essentially, the money that companies defraud the government is taxpayer revenue. Consequently, by reporting these fraudulent activities and allowing the government to recover, you are exposing fraud, returning money to the government so they can use it to serve its citizens and at the same time, you get a portion of that money.
Those who step forward and, through their attorneys, whistleblower and report their companies are also known as Qui Tam relators. They can be employees, contractors, clients or competitors. Once they report the misuse of state or federal dollars, they become litigants on behalf of the government. We understand that those who report are concerned about retaliation. However, each of these laws such as the False Claims Act (“FCA”) contain incentives, and anti-retaliation provisions specifically protecting those who whistleblow about the wrongdoing. In addition, the FCA incentivizes individuals to hire attorneys and report the fraud by providing them with a share of the recovery often as high as 30% percent of what often results in millions of dollars.
Those Who Witness Violations Defrauding the Government Are Encouraged to Report Them
To stop wrongdoing, many of our courageous and brave clients risk their careers and livelihoods. In turn, they are very well compensated when the wrongdoer settles for often millions of dollars. If you are not sure about reporting your company to the authorities, contact our attorneys to assist you by analyzing the facts of your case and providing you with your legal options. Our California attorneys have the knowledge, litigation experience, and resources to fight on your behalf for justice. It is vital that if you have knowledge of wrongdoing or violations caused by your company against the government through submitting false claims that you contact our whistleblower attorneys at (877)789-0979 to discuss your case and the qui tam whistleblower lawsuit.
Qui Tam Actions/Whistleblower Lawsuits
Qui Tam actions are another way of describing whistleblowing and occur when an employee discovers that certain individuals at a company charged the government for funds that should not have been charged or that retained those funds when they should have been returned after a 60 day period. There are other examples of violations. They include reporting to the government that certain services or goods were provided when lesser services or goods in actuality were rendered. In the healthcare industry, we’ve also seen a pattern of individuals who offer financial kickbacks to clinicians for the preferential prescribing or ordering of services for government beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid (MediCal in California). Trust our Bakersfield attorneys to represent you in your Qui Tam Whistleblower actions. Keep in mind that whistleblower cases are favorably looked upon by society and are examples of good citizenship. If you are considering stepping forward as a whistleblower, or have already done so and suffer or fear of suffering retaliation from your company, contact us today for a complimentary consultation at (877)789-9707 or via our online form. Se Habla Espanol.
Bakersfield’s Specialized Qui Tam Attorneys
We are Bakersfield attorneys specializing in Whistleblower, or Qui Tam, litigation. The Defense, Finance, and Healthcare industries have produced the most Bakersfield whistleblowers over the years partly due to the regulated nature of the industries. Consequently, our attorneys have represented a growing number of whistleblowers and Qui Tam complainants (or relators) in our hometown.
The recent resurgence of False Claims Act (“FCA”), or Qui Tam, lawsuits has brought this historically dormant practice into the national spotlight often producing multi-million dollar judgments and ongoing scrutiny by a public tired of hearing about companies that defraud the government. Due to Bakersfield’s health care market, the federal FCA and California FCA combine to enable the government to prevent and mitigate fraud, waste, and abuse in government healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
California’s FCA is modeled after the federal FCA. In a nutshell, the laws forbid any person who:
(1) knowingly brings false or fraudulent claims for government payment;
(2) knowingly makes false record or statement to get false or fraudulent claims paid by the government;
(3) conspires to defraud the government by getting a false or fraudulent claim paid by the government; or
(4) knowingly makes false record or statement to conceal or decrease an obligation to pay the government.
The recent emergence of favorable, and lucrative, results especially in the health care field encourages individuals to expose corporate swindling of government funds and this area is not showing any signs of slowing down.
False Claims Act /Whistleblower Monetary Penalties
Attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates have assisted California whistleblowers to obtain extremely financially-bountiful results. A violation of the FCA may subject a company to substantial penalties of $5,000-11,000 per violation plus triple damages sustained by the government. Typically, the government initiates criminal proceedings first and then continues with civil prosecution. Our attorneys work together with the government each step of the way.
At the core of the FCA is the ability for private persons (aka whistleblowers/qui-tam relators) to file actions on behalf of the government. Then, while the action is under seal for 60 days, the government can choose to intervene either by litigation or settlement, or decline and allow the private lawsuit to proceed. If the government intervenes (preferred), the private person still receives a share (15-25%) of any recoveries. If the government declines to intervene, the private person receives a higher percentage (25-30%) of any recovery. (31 U.S.C. 3730 et seq.) Contact our Bakersfield whistleblower and qui tam attorneys today for a free analysis of your case.
Whistleblower Protection in California
After choosing to blow the whistle and contacting our attorneys, the whistleblower is informed of the anti-retaliation protection afforded in California. Our attorneys not only represent the whistleblower but they also go to bat protecting the whistleblower from any retaliation. Here are some of the most common whistleblower retaliation protections:
Labor Code Section 1102.5 prohibits retaliation against employees who “blow the whistle” by notifying a government agency on, or refusing to participate in, an activity that would violate any laws or regulations in the workplace.
Labor Code Section 98.6 prohibits retaliation against employees who file a complaint about labor code violations with the Labor Commissioner or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Labor Code 6399.7 prohibits retaliation against employees for filing a complaint or testifying on occupational safety and health issues.
Government Code Section 12653 et al. prohibits retaliation against employees who report to a government entity any fraudulent or illegitimate billing that was improperly submitted for payment to the government.
Government Code Section 12940(h) prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation.
Within the health care industry, the Health and Safety Code Section 1278.5 prohibits retaliation against patients, physicians, nurses, and medical staff who whistleblow to the government or its agencies on patient care issues at a healthcare facility.
California has its own Whistleblower Protection Act at Government Code Sections 8547-8547.12 which specifically protects state employees against retribution from reporting waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law or threat to publish health.
If you believe that you have a whistleblower or qui tam claim, or experienced retaliation for reporting illegal activity against the government, contact the experienced qui tam whistleblower law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates to discuss your legal options. For a free review of your case, speak to our Bakersfield whistleblower and qui tam attorneys today by calling us at 877-789-9707.
93309, 93385, 93301
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Stephen Danz & Associates-Bakersfield