What Is Qui Tam? About Berg & Androphy
Types of Qui Tam Cases our Houston, Texas Attorneys Handle
The qui tam lawyers at Berg & Androphy have extensive involvement in prosecuting qui tam litigation cases in district court. The firm represents whistleblowers in Texas and nationwide in many large Medicaid fraud and Medicare fraud cases, as well as other types of cases involving fraudulent claims against the government, and international cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The firm settled a case with Rotech Healthcare involving Medicare billings for durable medical equipment. The government declined to intervene in this case. The firm recently represented one of the nine whistleblowers in the record-setting Eli Lilly qui tam civil lawsuit, an off-label Medicaid fraud marketing case that netted the government and all whistleblowers about $750 million. The government will also receive an additional $600 million in criminal fines.
As featured in national news stories recently featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the cover of the Houston Press, Berg & Androphy settled a military case that netted the government and whistleblower about $13.2 million. The allegations involved the alteration of expiration dates on food products sent to our U.S. troops in the Middle East.
Since the revitalization of the False Claims Act (”FCA”) by the 1986 Amendments, the government has aggressively pursued civil, criminal, and administrative actions against those who swindle money from the federal treasury. Although the majority of these whistleblower claims were in the area of healthcare fraud, significant recoveries were also made in other areas. Most often, qui tam cases involve healthcare and defense contractors, but some also relate to:
- Defense Contractor / Federal Government
- Whistleblower Litigation
- IRS Tax Fraud
- Environmental Regulation
- Prevailing Wage Act
- Education Fraud
- Oil Gas and Mining
- Scientific Research
What Typically Happens During a Qui Tam Case in Texas?
Though every qui tam case is different, there is usually a few steps to the process to ensure whistleblower protection:
- A private citizen with non-public information about a business or an individual defrauding the government contacts a qui tam law group like Berg & Androphy.
- After gathering the evidence and evaluating the merits of the case and financial stability of the defendant, the whistleblower’s attorney decides whether to enter in contractual relationship with the whistleblower, which is generally done on a contingency fee basis.
- If the whistleblower attorney and whistleblower agree to contractual terms, the attorney will spend a significant amount of time to prepare a disclosure statement for the government and complaint to file with the court.
- The Department of Justice places the lawsuit “under seal” for 60 days (or more, upon the government’s request) to carefully examine the details.
- During the seal period, the government is encouraged to subpoena records from the defendant company to further substantiate the claims.
- During this period the case is not public information and the accused is not notified. Occasionally, however, the government may request the court to partially lift the seal to discuss the allegations with the defendant and negotiate a potential settlement.
- Typically with the help of the relator’s attorney, the government decides to intervene or not intervene in the case.
- What happens next depends on the government’s decision to intervene.
If the government chooses to intervene, the whistleblower and his/her attorney continue with the case with the assistance of the Department of Justice. If the government chooses not to intervene, the whistleblower and his/her attorney may continue or dismiss the case as they see fit.
Rewards for Tax Fraud Whistleblowers in Texas
Tough economic times can lead to more tax fraud schemes and qui tam lawsuits. That is good news for tax fraud whistleblowers seeking to reap substantial rewards from a law enacted by Congress in 2006. This law requires the IRS Whistleblower Office to pay rewards to individuals who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the taxes that they owe the Government.
The rewards range from 15% to 30% of the taxes, penalties, and interests collected by the IRS in the case. Certain conditions must be met first for this to happen. For example, the whistleblower only receives this monetary reward if more than $2 million is at issue in the case and the IRS actually uses the information provided by the whistleblower.
Qui Tam Case Results in Houston, Texas
Settlements and judgments have totaled in excess of $15.6 billion, including both qui tam and non-qui tam settlements and judgments. The qui tam settlements and judgments total $13.2 billion and whistleblower rewards account for $1.4 billon of this total. The total monetary recoveries and cases filed to date for qui tam actions are outlined in the chart here.
Frequently Asked Qui Tam Questions and Answers
Q: As a whistleblower, what do I need to know before hiring a qui tam attorney in Texas?
A: As a whistleblower who is pursuing a qui tam lawsuit, it is important to consider the pitfalls and the governing law behind such litigation before hiring an attorney.
Q: What types of qui tam cases do the whistleblower lawyers at Berg & Androphy have knowledge and experience with?
A: Over the years the attorneys at Berg & Androphy have represented individuals in qui tam cases against companies that have defrauded federal and state governments, victims of catastrophic personal injuries, and executives and others accused of White Collar Crime.
Q: Why should I trust my qui tam case to the law firm of Berg & Androphy?
A: The firm of Berg & Androphy has extensive involvement in prosecuting qui tam cases and defending white collar criminal cases and our track record is a point of pride with us. Opposing lawyers know we do not hesitate to “tee it up” and try a case. That reputation adds value to the cases we accept.
Still have questions about Whistleblower cases? Contact the law offices of Berg & Androphy
Berg & Androphy will be happy to evaluate your potential qui tam case. The information you provide will be privileged and confidential. We do not, however, become your attorneys simply because you have emailed us or contacted us by phone. With your permission, we will investigate your case to determine whether we are interested in proceeding. If we are interested, we will send you a written agreement. Until a written fee agreement is agreed to and signed, we do not represent you.
Contact us today for a free consultation and expert legal advice