AntiFraud Law Group Blog

Handling Whistleblower Cases Nationwide from Newport News, Virginia

May 16, 2014

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits United States Companies and individuals (as well as certain foreign companies that are required to make certain filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)) from offering bribes or kickback to obtain business.  The FCPA specifically addresses bribery as follows:

It shall be unlawful for any issuer [of  certain securities] …, or for any officer, director, employee, or agent of such an issuer …, to make use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of an offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of...

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May 12, 2014

The Stark Act, 42 USC Section 1395, includes a number of exceptions to the prohibition to the ownership and compensation arrangement described in my recent post. The evaluation and application of these exceptions can be a complex undertaking, thereby making a determination as to whether a particular arrangement is permitted by the Stark Law also complex.  The exceptions include Section 1395nn(b)(1), which provides an exception for physicians’ services provided personally by (or under the personal supervision of) another physician in the same “group practice” as the referring physician.  The law...

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May 06, 2014

What is the Stark Law?

Congress enacted the Stark Law as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989. The Stark Law, 42 USC Section 1395nn, also referred to as the Physician Self–Referral Law, has certain prohibitions when a physician or member of his or her immediate family has a direct or indirect financial arrangement or relationship with an entity:

(1) First, the physician may not make a referral to an entity that provides certain designated health services covered by the Medicare program or any other federal heathcare payor program; and

(2) Second, the entity may not present or cause to be presented any...

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May 05, 2014

In Wilson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a district court opinion that a whistleblower (relator) waited too long to file an amended suit.  In this case, Wilson filed a complaint in the Central District of California under seal and then filed an amended complaint in October 2006, which alleged that Bristol-Myers Squibb violated the federal  Anti–Kickback Statute and engaged in off-label promotion of Monopril, Plavix, and Pravachol, and that...

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April 30, 2014

In the previous post I discussed the statute of limitations for Whistleblower cases (suits filed under the False Claims Act).  Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on an interesting issue as to whether the statute of limitations was suspended due to the fact that the United States had been at “war” in the case of Carter v. Halliburton, 710 F.3d 171 I(4th Cir. 2013).   Carter alleged that the defendant (KBR) falsely billed the United States for services performed in Iraq.  KBR provided services to the U.S. military...

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April 29, 2014

Whistleblower often inquiry about how long after a party defrauds the government do they have to file a false claims act.  There is not a quick and simple answer to this question.  The statute provides that a civil action under the False Claims Act must be brought within six years of the violation or within three years of the date when the government learned or should have learned the facts material to the violation, whichever is later.  In no event may an action be brought after ten years of a violation. Specifically, the language of the statute states:

(b) A civil action under may not be brought—

(1) more than 6 years...

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April 28, 2014

Below is a PowerPoint presentation that I prepared and presented as a continuing education course for architects, engineers and other design professionals in Virginia. It gives a summary of the False Claims Act, includes some history and then looks specifically at how the act applies to these professions. At the end of the embedded presentation, I have also included a link in the PowerPoint format itself.



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April 27, 2014

The United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia recently weighed in on the Whistleblower statute’s (False Claim Act’s) first-to-file rule as it applies to a whistleblower filing a second complaint in the case of Shea v. Cellco Partnership.  The court issued a ruling on April 11, 2014 and its ruling has created some controversy.

In Shea, Stephen Shea filed a whistleblower action against Cellco Partnership (Verizon) and alleged that:

(1) that Verizon made knowing submission to the United States of certain prohibited surcharges under contracts to provide telecommunications services to the General Services...

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April 26, 2014

As a general rule, for a whistleblower to recover in a False Claims Act case, he or she must be the first to file suit.  This is a statutory requirement  pursuant to 31 U.S.C. Section 3737(b)(5).  Furthermore, there are a few policy reasons typically cited that support the law.  First, the government wants to give incentives to whistleblowers to come forward quickly.  Second, the government wants to discourage “parasitic” suits where individuals come forward once they have learned about someone else filing suit.  Because of the first to file provisions of the statute, there can sometimes be a “race to the courthouse” situation created,...

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April 24, 2014

In the last post, I was discussing how the court in a recent whistleblower case determined the percentage of recovery that would be awarded to the whistleblower (relator).  In this case, there were clearly factors that justified a higher percentage of recovery, but also factors that weighed against the relator.

In its analysis, the court first recognized that the award to the whistleblower depended upon the extent to which the relator substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action pursuant to the False Claims Act statute...

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