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If you have knowledge of government fraud, it’s in your best interests to consult with a whistleblower attorney. Not only are you protected under the False Claims Act, you may be eligible to receive 15 to 30 percent of the funds recovered. At Morgan & Morgan, we admire your bravery and look forward to working with you to expose government fraud in Tennessee.
Laws protecting whistleblowers in Memphis, TN
While most government fraud cases are reported by employees, anyone can be a whistleblower. The only requirement is courage. Fortunately, the government recognizes the pivotal role whistleblowers play in exposing fraud and has enacted the following laws:
- The False Claims Act — Through the False Claims Act, private citizens are allowed to sue anyone who commits fraud against the government. Whistleblowers who report instances of government fraud may receive up to triple damages and 15-30 percent of the money recovered by the government. In fact the Department of Justice obtained more than $3.5 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in 2014 alone.
- False Claims Act — Under this law, anyone who knowingly submits, or causes another party to submit false claims for the purpose of receiving government funds is liable for triple the government’s damages plus civil penalties of $5,500 to $25,000 per false claim.
- The Public Protection Act — This state statute is designed to protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation. Under the Act, an employee may not be fired for the sole cause of refusing to participate in illegal activities, or disclosing illegal activities. Illegal activities are activities that violate the state or federal criminal codes.
- Education Truth in Reporting and Employee Protection Act of 1989 — This law makes it unlawful to discharge or discriminate against a public education employee for whistleblowing.
Examples of government fraud
Not all instances of government fraud are easily detectable. Some government fraud activities may even seem normal. If you suspect a government employer or agency is engaging in fraudulent behavior, consult with an experienced Memphis whistleblower lawyer. He or she can review the details of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. Following are a few examples of government fraud:
- Phantom billing
- Double billing by charging more than once for the same service
- Billing for brand-named drugs when generic drugs were provided
- Overbilling for products
- Charging for expensive equipment, but providing low-cost equipment
- Billing for equipment or supplies that were never ordered
- Up Coding and billing for complex services when only simple services were performed
- Charging for new equipment, but providing used equipment
- Billing for unnecessary procedures
Tennessee False Claims Act
The Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act (TMFCA) is uniquely designed to address fraud that occurs in government health care systems. You may receive a percentage of the funds recovered if the government prosecutes the case under the TMFCA. In addition, you may be entitled to a larger percentage of the recovered funds if you litigate the case yourself. The Act explains civil and/or administrative actions may be brought against any party who:
- Knowingly presents or causes to be presented a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval under the Medicaid program.
- Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim under the Medicaid program.
- Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state, or knowingly conceals, or knowingly and improperly, avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state relative to the Medicaid program.
- Conspires to commit a violation of the above subsections numbered 1-3.8.
Contact skilled Memphis whistleblower attorneys today
Confronting and exposing government fraud is not an easy task. However, if it is your burden, we at Morgan & Morgan want to carry it with you. Our law firm has many dedicated attorneys with decades of experience. Let our talented legal team protect your rights and help you obtain compensation. To discuss your case with an attorney today, fill out our free case review form or visit our whistleblower website.