Former Federal Government Attorneys – Experienced in False Claims Act (FCA) (CID) Civil InTips for Responding to Civil Investigative Demand False Claims Act CID Requestsvestigative Demand False Claims Act Defense

The Civil investigative demand False Claims Act (FCA) – 31 USC 3733 is a common federal statute used by various federal law enforcement agencies to compel individuals, healthcare industry members, and federal government contractors to produce documents or testify in civil and criminal investigations.

In civil investigations, the U.S. Attorney’s Office can send civil investigative demands that force the production of documents, written responses, and even testimony.

While mandatory, responding to a False Claims Act civil investigative demand can be a slippery slope. When you receive a CID request from the DOJ or OIG, you should have all of the information you need to respond adequately and completely. Whether you are in health care or government contracting, hiring experienced defense attorneys is essential to your success.

 At Watson & Associates, LLC, with law offices in Washington, DC and in Colorado, we offer experienced former government lawyers with experience in the federal False Claims Act (FCA) and government investigations.

When it comes  FCA investigations, we help government contractors and health care clients across the country to defend against civil and criminal investigations or litigation defense.

  • Our goal is to get investigations to end with a favorable result, and
  • Push for charges to be dropped or negotiate the most favorable outcome.

What You Need to Know about Your (or Your Company’s) Civil Investigative Demand False Claims Act Response Under 31 USC 3733

Knowing how to respond to a 31 USC 3733 False Claims Act civil investigative demand means knowing the investigative process, your constitutional rights not to incriminate yourself, and any legal grounds to challenge the CID. Your response and cooperation also mean doing so while still protecting your company’s confidential information.

Critical Information About Civil Investigative Demand False Claims Act Requests

Federal Prosecutors  Office Can Issue CIDs During Government-Initiated Investigations and In Response to False Claims Act Qui Tam Lawsuits

False Claims Act government investigations can come to fruition from a self-initiated federal investigation or in response to the filing a whistleblower Qui Tam lawsuit.

  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office can issue CIDs in both situations.
  • Remember that receiving an FCA CID will not always prompt you to the government’s intent.

In other words, you may not be currently a target of the. Investigation. Yet, depending on the information provided to the U.S. Attorney’s office, you can quickly become a target. This is one main reason you would want an experienced False Claims Act CID defense attorney on your legal team.

Getting a CID Issued Means That You are Not Currently In Litigation

Responding to a False Claims Act civil investigative demand can be positive because it means that the government has not reached a conclusion about its findings.

This means that you may be able to get the investigation or any contemplated charges thrown out, or you may have a shot at getting a favorable result after the investigation.

  • Federal Attorneys issue Civil Investigative Demands before litigation or Intervening in a Qui Tam Lawsuit
  • Receiving a CID does not necessarily mean that you have committed a crime.

False Claims Act Civil Investigative Demand False Claims Act Requests Give the Government the Ability to Reach Your Sensitive Information

You should know that the government’s use of  31 USC 3733 civil investigative demand False Claims Act investigation requests means that they have the authority to reach your sensitive personal and corporate information.

The Federal government’s reach can include corporate and personal bank accounts, emails and cell phone records, invoices and contracts between third parties and more.

However, you have constitutional rights and certain protections. Working with federal lawyers who understand the civil investigative demand process in a federal False Claims Act case is essential.

  • The federal government does not have a right to compel you to incriminate yourself
  • Communications between your CID compliance attorneys are generally privileged communications.

What is a False Claim?

false claim is a demand for money or property that is based on a material falsehood or a fraudulent premise.  A false claim could result when the medical bill submitted to Medicare by the biller and the submitted seeks payment for procedures the doctor did not actually perform; when government contract goods or services do not conform to the representations made by the contractor; when the competitively awarded contract was procured through bid-rigging or fraud; or when the SBA loan or grant application contains which intentional false statements.

31 U.S. Code § 3733 – Civil investigative demands (statutory language)

What Happens If You Fail to Respond to a Civil Investigative Demand False Claims Act Request Adequately?

When it comes to responding to the civil investigative demand. False Claims Act request, you must cooperate. However, you cannot spoon-feed the U.S. Attorney’s office what you think you want them to know. Instead, you must comply with the CID or subpoena (criminal cases).

Failing to respond to a CID adequately can have serious consequences. You can find yourself facing mounting legal fees for forcing the OIG or DOJ from seeking enforcement help from the Court; You can face charges for interfering with a federal investigation and many more sanctions.

Withholding information or lying to federal investigators can result in additional charges, such as lying to a government official ( a felony).

The above are all reasons why having a federal lawyer civil investigative demand attorney is essential to a more favorable outcome.

How to Respond to a Civil Investigate Demand

Individuals, government contractors, and healthcare professionals receiving a CID should immediately bring in experienced CID False Claims Act defense counsel. The first steps in responding to a CID often include the following:

  • Meet with your defense attorney to develop a response plan
  • Identify relevant data sources and document custodians (this may require the expensive task of hiring forensic technician services)
  • Implement a legal CID hold to preserve potentially relevant documents
  • Have your attorney negotiate with the DOJ or OIG, or FTC about the scope and timing of any response
  • Conduct internal investigations and start correcting any issues

If you have any questions about the civil investigative demand False Claims Act process, please contact a CID compliance attorney at Watson & Associates, LLC. Call us immediately at 1.866.601.5518 and speak to lead attorney Theodore Watson.