With the expansion of the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) reach and penalties, the U.S. Department of Justice has recovered more than five billion dollars in FCA settlements and judgments in civil cases involving alleged fraud against the government. On top of these record-breaking recoveries, nearly 800 new FCA lawsuits were filed last year, more than 80 percent of which were brought by private whistleblowers seeking bounties under the FCA’s qui tam provisions. Not to be left behind, most states have enacted their own false claims laws including qui tam provisions, and state FCA claims are on the rise.
Today, virtually any company or person receiving federal or state funds may be at risk of an FCA investigation or lawsuit, including traditional targets in healthcare and government contracting. With the potential for treble damages and penalties, as well as collateral consequences from suspension and debarment to exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid programs, the stakes for companies have never been higher.
False Claims Act Investigations & Defense Practice
For more than two decades, Blank Rome has represented companies and individuals in FCA investigations and litigation. Our False Claims Act investigations & defense practice draws upon the experience of many former federal prosecutors and leverages capabilities from the Firm’s government contracts; state, federal, and joint investigations; and white collar defense practices to provide comprehensive service and advice to our clients.
Our focus is to resolve FCA cases as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, working to convince the government not to intervene in FCA cases and resolving matters without litigation.
When litigation is necessary, we draw on a seasoned team of trial attorneys, many of whom are former prosecutors, and litigate aggressively in federal and state courts around the country. We also have substantial experience resolving suspension and debarment cases and similar eligibility matters (including Medicare and Medicaid exclusions) that may arise from an FCA case.
Comprehensive FCA Capabilities
Blank Rome has successfully represented clients against FCA allegations involving virtually all forms of alleged misconduct, including cost and labor mischarging, false representations and certifications, GSA Schedule violations (including those based upon pricing and discounting disclosures), kickbacks, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, organizational conflicts of interests, and Truth in Negotiation Act violations. We have worked with clients in a wide array of industries, including professional services, hardware and software, logistics, finance, pharmaceuticals, medical/surgical devices, and healthcare services.
In procurement fraud matters involving civilian and defense agencies, our government contracts team provides deep insight into the unique statutes, regulations, and other contracting requirements that underlie FCA actions. In the healthcare sector, Blank Rome has represented pharmaceutical and biologics companies, medical/surgical device manufacturers, clinical laboratory companies, hospitals, wholesalers, distributors, and other providers in a wide range of matters including allegations of Medicare/Medicaid fraud.
Blank Rome also has unique experience in resolving state FCA investigations and litigation through our state, federal, and joint investigations practice.