Portland Whistleblower/Qui Tam Attorneys
Across the nation, there are employees who witness illegal or fraudulent acts committed by a public or private company, organization or government agency. When employees take legal action to bring it to the attention of the government, they become whistleblowers. Unfortunately, whistleblowers often suffer serious retaliation for their actions, including discipline, demotion and even termination from employment. This is why whistleblowers are concerned about being protected from the organizations and individuals they are exposing.
If you know about fraud against the government and want to put a stop to it, or you were retaliated against because you disclosed your employer’s unethical business practices, contact Rizk Law right away. Our Portland whistleblower attorneys understand the professional and personal risks you are taking for coming forward. We also have detailed knowledge of the False Claims Act, which allows employees with evidence of fraud against their employers to file qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. government and possibly obtain a certain percentage of the recovered funds.
A consultation with our firm is free and at no obligation to you. We are committed to protecting your legal rights and will utilize our full resources to build a successful case with your best interests in mind.
Get started today by calling 503.245.5677 for your free case evaluation.
The False Claims Act
The False Claims Act or FCA is a federal law that protects whistleblowers from retaliation and combats fraud against the federal government (31 U.S. Code §§ 3729 – 3733). Private parties are allowed to blow the whistle on companies or individuals who are financially defrauding the government. This is known as a qui tam lawsuit. In these cases, the federal government is the real party of interest and the private party who initiates the lawsuit is known as a relator.
The relator must first file a qui tam lawsuit in federal District Court where the suit will be sealed, without anyone knowing about it except the relator and the government. The Department of Justice, along with the local District Attorney, then has 60 days to investigate and decide whether to intervene or not.
If the government decides to intervene, it takes over the case. A successful suit means the guilty party is usually required to repay the government triple the amount that was defrauded. The relator may also be entitled to receive between 15 to 25 percent of the total government’s reward depending on their involvement in the case.
If the government decides not to intervene, the relator can proceed on his or her own. A successful suit means the relator may be entitled to receive up to 30 percent of the government’s reward.
In fiscal year 2017, False Claims Act lawsuits resulted in more than $3.7 billion being recovered on behalf of the federal government.
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Types of Qui Tam Lawsuits
Fraudulent acts can occur in any industry in any organization or corporation that enters into a contract with the government. Some of the cases handled by our whistleblower/qui tam lawyers in Portland include, but are not limited to:
Health Care Fraud
Under the False Claims Act, some of the biggest penalties issued are for health care fraud committed by medical providers, insurers, patients, health managed care organizations and by manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and medical supplies. This can include fraudulent billing, kickbacks, duplicate claims, improper coding, inflating costs, falsifying credentials, ordering unnecessary medical services or tests, and more.
If the fraud results in payments or reimbursement through Medicaid/Medicare, Social Security or a state insurance program, it may be in direct violation of the False Claims Act.
Corporate fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a company’s financial information or activities in order to mislead the public and increase the company’s profits. This can include a company overbilling the government for goods or services, misrepresenting what services were provided or filing false reports. These types of fraudulent acts usually start out small, making them difficult to detect early on.
If a company or organization fails to report income, hides or omits assets or property, takes unauthorized deductions, or falsely files its taxes, it may have committed tax fraud. Even under-reporting the value of an estate in order to avoid paying more taxes is fraudulent.
Mortgage fraud is the intentional act of misstating, misrepresenting or omitting information by a lender or borrower to fund, purchase or insure a loan. This type of fraud is often committed by applicants and mortgage brokers, appraisers or other professionals in the industry.
This can include inflating an appraisal to obtain a mortgage for more than a property is worth, claiming income or assets a borrower does not have, posing as a borrower on behalf of someone else actually making the purchase, or pretending to provide financial help to a homeowner seeking to refinance.
Other types of fraud that violate the FCA can involve federal student loans, government contractors, the U.S. Postal Service and the environment, among others.
If you have knowledge of fraud against the government, it is important that you report any violations of the FCA. An experienced Portland whistleblower attorney can review your claim at no cost to you and determine if you have a right to file a lawsuit.
Contact Rizk Law today by calling 503.245.5677.
Whistleblower Protections Against Retaliation
Under state and federal law, a whistleblower may not be retaliated against for reporting fraud or submitting a claim to the government.
According to 31 U.S. Code § 3730(h) of the Federal Claims Act, an employee who is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed or discriminated against due to lawful acts by their employer is entitled to all necessary relief to make that employee whole again.
This relief may include reinstatement in a current or senior position, double back pay and compensation for any special damages including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
In Oregon, there are several different statutes that provide some form of protection to whistleblowers in the workplace. Oregon Revised Statute 659A.203 says it is illegal for public or nonprofit employers to prohibit an employee from discussing a violation of federal, state or local law by the employer.
Reporting fraud against the government takes tremendous courage and we stand by those who choose to come forward.
Contact a Portland whistleblower/qui tam attorney to set up a free consultation so we can learn more about your case. The information you share with us will remain strictly confidential.
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Deadline for a Whistleblower/Qui Tam Case
The statute of limitations for filing a qui tam lawsuit is six years from the date of the violation or three years after the government knew or should have reasonably known about the violation, whichever date is later (31 U.S. Code § 3731). However, you cannot file a lawsuit more than 10 years after the date of the violation.
Filing a lawsuit can be complex and difficult to navigate on your own without the help of a knowledgeable attorney by your side. The Portland whistleblower lawyers at Rizk Law know how to apply federal and state laws to your case as we pursue the justice and compensation you are entitled.
Speak with a Portland Whistleblower Attorney Now
If you have experienced retaliation after reporting an organization, corporation or individual for defrauding the government, it is in your best interest to speak with a whistleblower/qui tam attorney in Portland as soon as possible.
At Rizk Law, we have many years of combined legal experience handling complex litigation. During a free consultation, we can review your case and discuss your opportunities for recovering compensation in a qui tam lawsuit. Our firm can make sure your rights are being protected every step of the way.
We look forward to helping you. Call 503.245.5677.