Whistleblower and Qui Tam Attorney in San Bernardino
As California’s largest plaintiff’s side law firm, we are proud to associate with some of the finest Qui Tam and whistleblower litigation attorneys. Whistleblower laws combat fraud by incentivizing employees, contractors, clients, and competitors to report a company’s fraudulent actions or missions. The most commonly utilized law for whistleblowers is the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The FCA encourages individuals to file claims on behalf of the state or federal government to recover funds lost through companies’ fraud against the government. Our year of experience, specific legal knowledge, and thorough resources make our law firm San Bernardino’s go to attorneys for Qui Tam Whistleblower actions.
The FCA ensures that those who report fraudulent conduct are awarded for their bravery. Not only are the cases sealed and many of the settlements remain confidential, but the laws favor the Qui Tam plaintiff whistleblowers (or relators). In many cases, whistleblowers are compensated up to 30% of the total recovery by the state or federal government. This often tips the scale when individuals are worried about their jobs and careers. Most of our cases involve the healthcare, defense, and finance industries. Within healthcare, the most common types of fraud involve Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, physician/hospital overbilling, pharmaceutical overbilling schemes, and OT/PT/SLP therapeutics at skilled nursing facilities. As for the defense industry, we’ve seen fraud in taxes, government contracts, and the products/services actually rendered versus contracted. Within finance, many instances include securities fraud under the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Dodd-Frank.
When preparing to file a claim under seal against a company, we remind our clients to always document as much as possible such as the document names, location of documents and computer files. We also recommend not resigning, creating chronologies of the fraud witnessed and reporting the fraud internally in writing to the Human Resources department and supervisor. It is also important to make a list of all those who have knowledge of the fraud and whether they may be willing witnesses. When you contact our office, we can provide you with the guidance and counsel that you need to prepare as that is an essential part of maximizing success in Qui Tam Whistleblower litigation. For example, we will align the facts of your case to the laws we believe are impacted by the fraud. Since each case is unique, the best step you can take when you discover fraud is to contact our office for a confidential and complimentary consultation at (877)789-9707 or complete the online form and we will schedule a time for one of our attorneys to speak with you about your case and present your legal options. Our award-winning Super Lawyers listed attorneys have combined decades of experience handling and litigating complex cases.
“Qui tam” cases are filed by individuals such as employees, contractors/subcontractors, clients/customers, or even competitors on behalf of the state or federal government. Defendants may be individuals or companies who knowingly defrauded the state or federal government. Qui Tam Plaintiffs (aka whistleblowers or relators) have many laws such as the FCA to protect and incentivize them to bring their claims. Those who file the FCA lawsuit may receive a part of the recovered damages (ranging from 15 to 30% depending on whether the government joins the lawsuit). At the initial complimentary consultation, we will explain the different types of lawsuits and how they are brought against the defendants.
San Bernardino’s Specialized Qui Tam Attorneys
We are San Bernardino attorneys specializing in Whistleblower, or Qui Tam, litigation. The Defense, Finance, and Healthcare industries have produced the most San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino’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 San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino whistleblower and qui tam attorneys today by calling us at 877-789-9707.
92427, 92414, 92401
“I would like to thank you for your associate Ely for your kind help, support and extremely detailed insight into my case. Thank you for the referral and for your genuine personal approach to my situation. You have my deepest respect and admiration. He is my favorite lawyer ever yet so far.
– Yulia G.”
Stephen Danz & Associates-San Bernardino