The False Claims Act prohibits any person from knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the Federal Government, and many state-based false claims acts contain the same broad language. Accordingly, qui tam suits need not be confined to the realms of healthcare, defense, or taxation. Rather, there are many circumstances in which a person’s conduct may fall under the purview of the False Claims Act and be the basis of a qui tam suit.
Banks and other financial institutions, for example, may violate the False Claims Act if they misuse federal funds (think, “bailout money”), if they receive federal assistance based on fraudulent information, or if their misconduct detrimentally affects federal investments. Likewise, for-profit schools may violate the False Claims Act whenever their receipt of federal funds (via student loans) is based on illegal conduct. Beyond that, there are a large number of other contractors who supply goods and services to the Government and whose conduct may also form the basis of a qui tam suit whenever they violate the terms of their contract yet accept payment from the Government, or when their contract is based on fraudulent information.
The team at Morgan Verkamp LLC has successfully represented clients in this area. In 2013, we represented a qui tam relator against Testech, Inc., a company which falsely held itself out as a minority-owned business in order to obtain contracts with the Department of Transportation. Testech and its owners agreed to reimburse over $2.8 million for the alleged fraud.
If you are aware of contractors who are defrauding the government, contact us to discuss the details of your case.