Four whistleblowers will split $11 million under the False Claims Act for providing information that led to exposing Linde AG-owned Lincare, one of the largest respiratory therapy service providers in the US, of fraudulently billing the government for oxygen and respiratory equipment.
About the False Claims Act
In 1863 to combat fraud in Union contracts during the Civil War, Congress passed the Whistleblower or Qui Tam statute. It was not until 1986 before Congress modernized the Whistleblower statute and renamed it to the False Claims Act (FCA). It became the government’s primary tool to combat fraud. Individuals who report government-program fraud bring the lawsuit on behalf of the government.
The Law Protects and Rewards a Whistleblower
When a knowledgeable attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm files a False Claims Act lawsuit, he or she files it under a seal. This means it is completely confidential. There is also a full disclosure statement in the suit, which details the evidence collected by a whistleblower.
After we file your suit, the Department of Justice will review the evidence before deciding to step in and decide if they want to prosecute the case. The government’s fraud investigator will work closely with you, the whistleblower to identify all responsible for the fraud.
You could be entitled to 15-30% of the funds recovered. In order to receive the reward, you must be the first one to file a case under the False Claims Act. This is why it is key to pick an experienced attorney to work quickly to get your compensation.
Illegal Billing Fraud
Four former employees of Lincare exposed false and fraudulently billed the government for services and equipment. Since 2003, Lincare billed Medicare and other government health programs for oxygen equipment when patients did not need them, forged oxygen orders, improperly waived deductibles, and paid kickbacks to physicians and their families.
The itemized False Claims Act violations are:
- Billing for oxygen equipment after receiving notice that the customer was no longer using the equipment
- Billing for portable oxygen tanks when the customer did not require them
- Fabricating evidence to support false claims that customers had ordered refills of oxygen they had never requested
- Improperly waiving customer co-payments and deductible payments to obtain more business
- Testing potential customers and providing oxygen to Medicare beneficiaries without physician orders
- Providing kickbacks to physicians’ offices to influence referrals
- Failing to return overpayments received from government payors
Meanwhile, Lincare chalked everything up to billing errors even though the company wrongfully terminated any employee who exposed the overbilling. However, for being courageous and exposing the fraud, the four whistleblowers will split $11M, of which $5M will cover legal costs. This award surpassed the usual 30% ceiling.
Premier Complex Litigation Attorneys
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Our team of attorneys has been recognized as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Our award-winning staff is also sought after for our knowledge on complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.
Therefore, if you believe you have uncovered evidence of fraud involving a government-funded program, contact us today. Our attorneys have represented many clients in the past with complex cases. We will work tirelessly to obtain results on your behalf.