Whistleblower | False Claims Act Attorney
We represent whistleblowers in the battle to root out fraud, hold swindlers accountable and recover bounties and rewards under the False Claims Act and other United States whistleblower statutes and programs. We also represent large and institutional stockholders in securities “opt out” cases, and investors in disputes with their stockbrokers and investment advisors in arbitrations before FINRA.
With more than twenty years of experience in complex litigation on behalf of fraud victims and whistleblowers, our mission is to provide you with the individualized attention and quality legal representation you deserve. We take each case seriously, understand what it means to stand up for justice, and will devote our full attention and expertise to your matter.
The False Claims Act is the primary tool for combating fraud against the federal government. Individuals with information regarding violations may become whistleblowers by filing what are known as qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the United States. Also called “relators,” qui tam whistleblowers are generally entitled to rewards of 15-30% of whatever the government collects. Damages under the False Claims Act are punitive -- three times the amount of the loss sustained by the United States, plus civil penalties -- so whistleblower rewards can be sizable. Hundreds of millions of dollars in qui tam bounties have been paid in recent years but it is essential to engage an experienced whistleblower attorney to represent you in your matter.
Whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act have emerged as a powerful means of policing tariff compliance. Whistleblowers have been instrumental in exposing “country of origin” or transshipment frauds (misattribution of the source of goods to obtain a reduced duty rate), the use of forged or doctored import documents to understate dutiable value, and the use of improper classifications under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS). Qui tam cases involving customs fraud are increasingly being filed by law-abiding businesses struggling to compete against rivals that are cheating on their import duties. Reach out to Mark A. Strauss, a whistleblower attorney with experience handling customs fraud cases.
Whistleblowers are urgently needed to help prevent the theft and misuse of the trillions being spent and loaned out by the federal government for coronavirus pandemic relief. Potential whistleblowers should be on the lookout for parties that have falsified applications for government loans or grants, padded or inflated invoices or reimbursement requests, passed off noncompliant goods or services, paid kickbacks, rigged bids, or used relief funds for unauthorized purposes. Fighting COVID-19 relief fraud is a top enforcement priority of the Justice Department.
Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE and other government-sponsored healthcare programs pay trillions of dollars a year in reimbursements to medical providers such as hospitals, physicians, device manufacturers, drug companies, nursing and home health care agencies and testing laboratories. Qui tam whistleblowers regularly win substantial rewards exposing improper practices such as fraudulent coding, overbilling, and Anti-Kickback statute (AKS) and Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law) violations. In addition to cheating the U.S. taxpayer, healthcare fraud compromises patient care and drives up medical costs for everyone.
Rooting out fraud by government contractor and vendors has long been a primary function of the False Claims Act. Indeed, the statute was originally passed during the Civil War in response to rampant fraud by suppliers of the Union Army. With federal contract spending now on track to exceed half a trillion dollars, United States taxpayers have never been more at risk of loss from this type of wrongdoing. Potential qui tam whistleblowers should be alert to government contractors or vendors overbilling, inflating costs, or passing off noncompliant goods or services. Some of the largest whistleblower cases in history have involved fraud in connection with government contracting and procurement.
The federal government provides tens of billions of dollars in grant funding each year to a wide range of applicants -- including universities, local governments, charities, businesses -- to support publicly beneficial endeavors such as scientific or medical research, rural infrastructure development, law enforcement and the like. Too often, however, grant money is fraudulently obtained or improperly used. Qui tam whistleblowers are needed to police violations including fraudulent statements made in the grant application, renewal or extension process, the falsification of data or research and the use of grant funds for personal or unauthorized purposes. Confer with an experienced whistleblower attorney like Mark A. Strauss if you suspect that parties are engaged in grant fraud.
The government provides more than a trillion dollars of credit assistance each year in the form of loans, financial guarantees and subsidies to promote various business activities and ventures. Qui tam whistleblowers have been instrumental in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars from dishonest for-profit schools, mortgage originators, and other direct and indirect recipients of government credit assistance. Contact whistleblower attorney Mark A. Strauss if you have information about this type of fraud.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offers rewards of 10-30% for tips regarding securities law violations that result in the imposition of monetary sanctions greater than $1 million. Whistleblowers on Wall Street and in the corporate world are needed to expose violations such as insider trading, market manipulation, material misstatements or omissions in SEC filings, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations and sales of unregistered securities. In order to proceed anonymously, whistleblowers must be represented by an attorney. More than $676 million in whistleblower bounties have been awarded by the SEC. If you have information about undisclosed securities law violations, reach out to an experienced securities and whistleblower attorney like Mark A. Strauss.
Twenty-one states have adopted their own false claims acts (modeled on the federal statute) to root out fraud on state and local government programs. Like their federal counterpart, the state statutes generally incentivize whistleblowers to come forward by offering them rewards of 10-30% of the government's recovery. State false claims act violations are often alleged in Medicaid overbilling cases, as Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and the states. New York’s false claims act is unique in that it permits whistleblower claims based on tax fraud.
The IRS Whistleblower Office offers rewards of 10-30% for information leading to the recovery of federal tax underpayments exceeding $2 million including interest and penalties. Unique among the states, New York offers similar rewards for information leading to the recovery of unpaid owed to it. Unlawful tax evasion deprives governments of essential funds and increases the tax burden on fellow citizens. Whistleblowers are needed to expose abusive tax shelters, tax evasion through offshore accounts, exaggeration of capital losses, abuse of tax-exempt status and other fraudulent practices. Confer with an experienced whistleblower attorney like Mark A. Strauss if you have information about this type of violation.
Joining a class action makes sense for most investors who lose money due to securities fraud. Depending on the circumstances, however, large and institutional investors may be better served by “opting out” of the subject class and litigating their claims on an individual basis. Opt-out plaintiffs are able to select their own attorneys and follow their own litigation strategies, and generally receive far more significant per-share recoveries than class members. Mark A. Strauss Law has a significant securities litigation experience including on behalf of opt-out plaintiffs.
Investors who suffer significant losses in their brokerage accounts may seek recovery against their stockbrokers, financial advisors, and brokerage firms through arbitration at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Grounds for relief include the recommendation of unsuitable investments, inadequate diversification, overconcentration, excessive margin, and inadequate disclosure of risks. Contact securities litigation attorney Mark A. Strauss if you may have suffered losses due to stockbroker or financial advisor misconduct.