The civil False Claims Act (FCA) increasingly is the weapon of choice in the federal government's anti-fraud arsenal, especially in the areas of healthcare, government contracting and grants. In recent years, several factors have increased the risk of FCA exposure to contractors, grantees and participants in federal and state programs, including:
Holland & Knight's False Claims Act Team is highly skilled in defending litigation and investigations involving the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), as well as state versions of the FCA. Our team has extensive experience handling FCA cases. We focus on achieving our clients' goals by developing defenses and strategic approaches that maximize the chances of a successful and comprehensive resolution.
Our seasoned litigators have a thorough understanding of the FCA and are able to handle all phases of complex litigation including through jury trial and appeal. Our team includes a number of former federal prosecutors whose insight and experience are invaluable in defending our clients' interests.
Our False Claims Act Team has extensive experience handling many different types of FCA cases, including false certifications (express or implied), Medicare or Medicaid overcharging, mischarging, overbilling, providing defective or nonconforming products, misrepresenting qualifications, conflicts of interest, false statements that are material to payment of false claims and whistleblower claims. When handling actual or threatened whistleblower claims or providing advice to avoid such claims, our FCA Team works in collaboration with members of the firm's Labor & Employment Team.
In order to help clients avoid or remediate problems related to the False Claims Act, our FCA Team regularly develops customized compliance systems, including policies and internal control procedures.
Our offices in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia enhance our ability to handle state FCA cases in these jurisdictions.
The successful defense of an FCA case or matter, which frequently involves high stakes, requires a combination of skills and experience. Holland & Knight's FCA Team has the knowledge, resources and depth to skillfully defend clients, including:
Our team includes 20 attorneys with the knowledge and experience required to effectively defend your interests, including:
Our False Claims Act Team provides clients with insight and experience in the substantive areas and industries where FCA claims most frequently arise, including government contracts, healthcare, construction, education, transportation, energy/environment and financial services.
Government contracting has long been the leading source of FCA cases. Government audits are routine and investigations by Inspectors General and federal investigative agencies are frequent. Currently, the American Recovery and Investment Act is creating additional opportunities for businesses looking to secure work from the federal government but it will also bring increased scrutiny of how and where tax dollars are spent. Our seasoned Government Contracts Group provides the counsel needed to assess opportunity, navigate the statutory and regulatory challenges, manage the risks inherent in this area and avoid costly FCA violations.
Allegations of fraudulent activity against federal and state-funded insurance programs have reached epidemic proportions. DOJ has never been more aggressive in this sector, reaching settlements of hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars. By far, the most common way that a company reaches the government's radar-screen is through qui tam whistleblowers, whose claims are sometimes legitimate but are often frivolous or even malicious. Nevertheless, all such actions must be taken seriously by the companies charged. The complex regulatory regime creates an environment in which good faith judgments or honest mistakes may be branded as civil fraud or even criminal conduct. An effective defense against a pharmaceutical or medical devise FCA case must include lawyers who know the industry and the science underlying the allegations. Heightened efforts to uncover fraud mean increased risk and vulnerability for businesses operating in the healthcare arena. Our FCA Team works closely with the firm’s Healthcare and Life Sciences and Compliance Services teams to guard against actionable practices and to launch an informed and rapid response in the event wrongdoing is alleged.
Our Construction Group has extensive experience in all aspects of construction-related claims that may be scrutinized under the FCA. Given the severity of the FCA's sanctions, construction, contracting, design and other professionals involved in the construction industry require the experience and knowledge of lawyers who are well-versed in construction law and in the FCA. In addition to helping companies design and implement compliance programs, our team has been successful in resolving many construction claims through settlement or litigation.
Educational institutions that administer federal funding are vulnerable to government scrutiny and the threat of whistleblowers and qui tam actions. Institutions involved in medical research that is supported by government funding are particularly at risk. Our FCA attorneys have worked closely with numerous educational institutions to create and administer proactive compliance policies to reduce the likelihood of allegations or missteps.
For more than 30 years, our attorneys have represented the varied interests of clients operating in the transportation industry. We have advised aviation, maritime and transit system clients as well as municipalities and businesses that are involved in government-funded projects and receive government grants. This wealth of knowledge and experience enables us to effectively handle issues that arise under the FCA in connection with government funding or regulatory regimes.
Our firm’s Energy and Environmental groups have a long history of advising clients in all aspects of energy-related matters, including regulatory, legislative, transactional and litigation. We provide counsel for a range of projects that involve federal funding, including renewable energy projects and large-scale energy industrial projects. We also advise on the attendant risks involved in such projects. We are experienced in the FCA issues that may arise for energy and environmental industry clients, such as environmental compliance, use of inferior materials and inflated charges of various types.
Whistleblower activities abound during this time of intense government scrutiny of banks and other financial institutions. Our dedicated financial services and FCA attorneys have handled numerous cases involving yield burning, arbitrage schemes, public finance abuse and other alleged violations.
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