Nationwide Federal False Claims Act Attorney and Whistleblower Defense Law Firm – Help For Government Contractors, Corporations and Individuals Throughout the USA  to Avoid Civil and Criminal Liability and Minimize Costly Legal Mistakes 

False Claims Act defense lawyers and whistleblower defense attorneys

Government contractor False Claims Act oversight and targeting causes companies to panic and make huge mistakes, which can lead to indictment and, ultimately, a criminal conviction. 

When the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and OIG target individuals or companies for procurement fraud and, ultimately, false claims charges, hiring a False Claims Act lawyer is necessary. However, FCA attorneys in cases that involve federal government contracts must also have experience in the underlying procurement violations.

This is where the probability of indictments or criminal convictions skyrockets without such experience.  Watson & Associates, LLC, with law offices in Washington, DC, and Denver, Colorado, defend small businesses and large DOD defense contractors from the investigative stage all the way to trial if necessary.

Facts to be aware of

DOJ Announced in February 2024 that False Claims Act Settlements and Judgments Exceeded $2.68 Billion in Fiscal Year 2023 – In the fiscal year 2023, whistleblowers filed 712 qui tam lawsuits. Of the recovered $2.68 billion in settlements and judgments, the government recovered more than $2.3 billion from cases filed by relators.  / whistleblowers.

The Act provides that any person who knowingly submits, or causes to submit, false claims to the government is liable for three times the government’s damages plus a penalty that is linked to inflation.

Federal contractors without the benefit of experience of federal procurement attorneys have an increased chance of being indicted in criminal cases because prosecutors know that they have an easier time prevailing if your defense attorney has no experience with the very rules that you allegedly violated.

When the government comes knocking on your door with False Claims Act civil investigative demand (CID) requests, subpoenas, or indictments, the stakes are high; our FCA attorneys can immediately step in and build an aggressive defense team. We represent clients that include: 

  • Fortune 500 companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical device manufacturers
  • Government construction companies
  • Defense contractors for services
  • Medical 
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Hospitals

Watson & Associates, LLC is a law firm that, teaming with local counsel, defends Qui Tam whistleblower and federal government procurement actions from the start of an investigation through trial court and appeal.

IF YOU ARE UNDER INVESTIGATION, INDICTED / CHARGED, OR FACING TRIAL FOR FALSE CLAIMS ACT OR PROCUREMENT FRAUD – GET IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR DEFENSE HERE 

As criminal and civil False Claims Act lawyers, we’re veterans of the government contracting marketplace. Our criminal and civil Federal Whistleblower Defense Lawyers understand government contract law (federal) and the issues that can lead to investigations, criminal indictments, and a jury conviction at trial. We also provide legal defense in Qui Tam and suspension and debarment cases. We understand the unique ethical complexities and regulations that government contractors face.

What is the False Claims Act?

The Federal False Claims Act targets any person or company that does business with the federal government. Once the U.S. directly or indirectly pays for the service or product, the company or individual is subject to civil and/or criminal liability. If the company or individual knowingly submits or causes to be submitted invoices or other methods for payment or benefit, the company or individual is subject to the penalties of the FCA. 

What are Examples of Violations Under the False Claims Act?

Although each case is fact-specific, some of the common violations under the False Claims Act include:

  • Charging the government for work or products not provided;
  • False certification and fraudulently acquiring a government contract;
  • Submitting a false government loan application;
  • Submitting a fraudulent application for a government grant;
  • Demanding payment for goods or services that do not conform to contractual or regulatory requirements;
  • Submitting false invoices for goods or services that are defective or of lesser quality than the. government contracted for;
  • Submitting a claim that falsely certifies that the defendant has complied with a law, FAR. or contract term, or Health Care regulation;
  • Attempting to pay the government less than is owed.
  • Representing that you are a small business when you are deemed other than small
  • False certification for HUBZone, SDVOSB and SBA 8(a) BD Program contracts

What Are the Penalties?

What are the damages for the False Claims Act? Navigating these investigations poses significant challenges for any business due to the statute’s inclusion of both civil and criminal penalties. At the outset of a case, it’s often unclear whether the government’s investigation pertains to civil matters or if it intends to pursue felony charges against the business owners.

Civil Penalties: Violators may face triple damages and fines per claim for knowingly submitting or causing the submission of false or fraudulent claims to the United States. As of January 30, 2023, the minimum False Claims Act penalty increased from $12,537 to $13,508 per claim.

Criminal Penalties (18 U.S.C. § 287): Healthcare providers who knowingly present fraudulent claims to the government for reimbursement, aware of their falsity, face up to five years of imprisonment and fines of $250,000 (for individuals) or $500,000 (for companies) for federal felony convictions. Misdemeanor convictions carry fines of $100,000 (for individuals) or $200,000 (for companies) for each claim.

Civil False Claims Act Attorneys

The Civil False Claims Act is a federal statute where whistleblowers can file a fraud lawsuit on behalf of the federal government. This is commonly referred to as a qui tam lawsuit.  Under the civil case, companies must not only defend against meritless claims. These cases can be tricky because they are filed under seal (the general public does not know about the lawsuit).

Watson’s civil False Claims Act lawyers can help you aggressively defend meritless cases and get the best possible results.

Nationwide Whistleblower Defense Attorneys for Various Industry Groups

In federal government contracting, the FCA attacks various contractors and many industry groups.  As Whistleblower defense lawyers, we defend government contractors in a variety of industries, including construction, engineering, landscaping, real estate, health care, medical, manufacturers, resellers, False Claims Act pharmaceutical companies defense, aircraft, FSS and GSA contract holders, hospitals, medical device manufacturers, biotechnology firms, hospital systems, medical centers, to mention a few.

Avoid Still Penalties and Jail Time – Actual Examples of False Claims Cases

Global Healthcare Company to Pay $6.3 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations:

Aug 2022: Novo Nordisk Inc., a global healthcare company, settled to pay $6.3 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by selling items to the United States that were manufactured in non-TAA designated countries in violation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. (TAA). Novo Nordisk Inc. violated the Trade Agreements Act, which restricts the procurement of goods under certain government contracts to purchases from specifically designated countries, by submitting false claims for payment for medical devices manufactured in non-TAA designated countries.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., paid $260 million to resolve separate False Claims Act allegations relating to its drug H.P. Acthar Gel

Mallinckrodt ARD LLC, previously Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., paid $260 million to resolve separate allegations relating to its drug H.P. Acthar Gel, which is approved to treat, among other things, acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis and infantile spasms.

Ventura County, Dignity Health, and Clinicas Del Camino Real, Inc. paid a combined total of $70.7 million to resolve False Claims Act claims

Gold Coast Health Plan, a county-organized health system in California and three of its providers, Ventura County, Dignity Health, and Clinicas Del Camino Real, Inc., paid a combined total of $70.7 million to resolve claims that they knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false claims to California’s Medicaid program in connection with the “Adult Expansion” population that was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Watson & Associates, LLC OIG and DOJ False Claims Act Investigation Attorney

We Understand the Government Contracting Laws That Ultimately Lead to False Claims Violations: Our False Claims Act lawyers and Government Contracting Practice Group collectively understand the various underlying legal issues that lead to a False Claims investigation.

These issues include government contractor fraud due to non-compliance with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA compliance) or Buy American Act (BAA compliance), Small Business Administration’s SBA programs such as HUBZone, SBA 8(a) BD Program, Service Disabled Veteran rules (SDVOSB), small business affiliation and control investigations, and various Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR ) and other procurement rules.

Without this experience level, companies are more likely to be indicted and prosecuted. This is where our seasoned False Claims Act investigation attorneys can help.

As Federal false claims attorneys, we help clients respond to civil investigative demands (CID) or subpoenas from the DOJ or OIG offices. Each false claims lawyer at our office understands the complexities of the government’s tricky approach to FCA matters. We, therefore, consult with our clients while executing aggressive defense approaches to each case.  

Whistleblower Defense Health Care False Claims Act Lawyers 

Antikickback defense/ False Claims Act Attorney: Watson & Associates, LLC  offers aggressive defense for healthcare providers and manufacturers.  We represent hospitals in a federal investigation for antikickback allegations or indicted federally for FCA allegations. Our healthcare False Claims Act lawyers work with local counsel and will provide an experienced healthcare whistleblower defense attorney to defend your case aggressively.

Help for Federal Government Contractors

Small businesses and large defense contractors alike face extreme scrutiny when the provide construction or services to the federal government. When you receive a False Claims Act civil investigative demand from the DOJ or OIG, or some other law enforcement agency, our False Claims Act lawyers can help. We represent various types of procurement clients, including:

  • SBA 8(a) small Businesses
  • Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOSB)
  • SBA HUBZone Small businesses
  • Prime Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Corporate CEOs
  • Manufacturers
  • Health Care Agencies

Nationwide FCA Investigative Attorneys and Qui Tam Whistleblower Defense Lawyers

At Watson & Associates, We Offer Top Federal False Claims Act Attorneys Who Have Experience in Government Contracting

Understanding the False Claims statute is just the beginning. Given the risks of jail time in a criminal case or hefty fines in a civil false claims case, we understand the flaws that can be buried in a government investigation brought by the OIG or DOJ. As government investigation attorneys will handle civil investigative demands and assist in responding to CID requests.

Our history in this arena not only focuses our efforts but often reveals additional mistakes previously overlooked by local defense attorneys unfamiliar with procurement law.

Lead False Claims Act Attorney and Practice Lawyers:  Wise D. Allen      Theodore P. Watson     Scott D. Lovelock  Walter H. Foster   

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Contact a False Claims Act Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

If you are facing federal investigations or have concerns about potential FCA whistleblower liability or looking for health care False Claims Act lawyers, do not hesitate to call our experienced government attorneys. We are prepared to provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the complexities of FCA litigation and protect your business interests.

Call Watson’s False Claims Act attorney at 1.866.601.5518 for a Free Initial Consultation. Speak to Theodore Watson, Lead False Claims Act Whistleblower defense lawyer.