South Carolina Injury & Accident Lawyers

Seeking Truth. Securing Justice. In conference rooms and courtrooms across South Carolina, we do battle because we believe in the rights and power of hardworking people. We believe you deserve more than a chance - you deserve a voice. You deserve the truth. You deserve justice. Contact Us Today.

SC Environment Fraud LawyerEnvironmental regulations are part of our lives, and rightly so. We need to keep from trashing our home, this planet, for ourselves and for future generations. A lot of time, effort, and money have gone into cleaning up old messes and preventing new ones, from the fossil fuels industry to nuclear plants. However, as always, the fraudsters are looking for opportunities.

The False Claims Act (FCA), and qui tam suits arising from the FCA’s regulations, are becoming more common in the area of environmental fraud. Substantial funds from the federal government are often involved with environmental contracts, and it can be hard to prove fraud after the fact when it comes to violating environmental statutes. This creates opportunities for tempting scams for the less-than-honest. But such claims can be difficult, and expensive, for the government authorities to detect and prove. Offices are often understaffed and, of course, underfunded. Therefore, it falls upon whistleblowers to bring wrongdoers to justice. Without the help of whistleblowers and their first-hand knowledge, many cases of environmental fraud would go undetected.

February, 2016: Lockheed Martin Settles

The aircraft and defense contractor Lockheed Martin agreed to pay $5 million to settle FCA and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) claims. They did so to put to rest allegations they violated the RCRA and thereby purposefully submitted false claims for payment involving the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky.

It is alleged that Lockheed Martin violated the RCRA, the statute that spells out how hazardous waste must be managed, because they did not:

  • Identify the hazardous waste produced and stored at the Paducah plant
  • Report the hazardous waste produced and stored at the Paducah plant
  • Handle and dispose of the hazardous waste appropriately.

The government also alleged that breaking the statutes resulted in false claims for payment under contracts with the Department of Energy (DOE).

Two qui tam lawsuits were settled in the process, filed by several former Lockheed Martin employees at the Paducah plant. Because the U.S. government partially intervened, the suits were consolidated. The whistleblowers received $920,000 collectively.

Earlier environmental qui tam cases include a whistleblower win of $4.1 million against Westinghouse Hanford Co. and Fluor Daniel Hanford Inc., alleging contractors overcharged the DOE for cleanup at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in a $240 million case; and a $4.2 million case involving misrepresenting the progress of nuclear cleanup at Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant by Rockwell International.

Whistleblowers do make a difference.

Environmental Fraud Claim Conditions

The FCA provides whistleblowers with certain financial incentives to report wrongdoing, because a successful suit can result in collecting between 15 and 30 percent of any money recovered. And, as previously mentioned, the role of whistleblower in environmental suits is crucial.

FCA environmental liability claims can arise under certain conditions:

  • A contractor deliberately overcharges the government for environmental services
  • A contractor fraudulently guarantees compliance with obligatory environmental laws and regulations for a project
  • A contractor is paid for environmental work not done
  • A contractor is paid for environmental services that do not match governmental specifications or standards.

To prove a claim, whistleblowers must successfully allege the following:

  • That false statements or fraudulent conduct occurred
  • That the statements or conduct occurred knowingly
  • That the statements or conduct were directly related to the claim.

The information must be presented to the federal government, and the whistleblower must be an original source of the information, to bring a case under the FCA.

Protections for Environmental Whistleblowers

Because certain other areas come into contact with the environmental legal sector, a number of federal laws protect whistleblowers. Some of the laws include:

  • Maritime whistleblower protection (46 U.S.C. § 2114)
  • Transportation safety (49 U.S.C. § 31105)
  • Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (49 U.S.C. § 60129).

Additionally, whistleblowers for environmental fraud may enjoy protections under other provisions, such as 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which protects them from retaliation if their actions are protected by the First Amendment. Of course, all of the protections arising from the FCA also apply.

If you blow the whistle on prohibited activities, or engage in any activity that is legal under whistleblower law, and you are retaliated or discriminated against, you are protected. You can file a complaint, or might even be able to have another (such as a union representative) file the complaint on your behalf. Generally, nearly any employee can be protected, whether private, state, municipal, or federal. Certain authorized employee representatives may also be protected under the statutes.

Employees who deliberately cause a violation of federal environmental law and who are not acting at the direction of their employer are not protected.

In general, federal environmental whistleblowers enjoy a fair number of protections. If you have evidence of fraud and are considering stepping forward, you have a lot of options worth considering, and each option has its own set of protections.

Reasoned advice from seasoned professionals.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, including environmental fraud, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form.

South Carolina Grovernment Fraud LawyerThe Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that, for all of fiscal year (FY) 2015, over $3.5 billion in settlements and judgments were obtained because of fraud cases against the government brought under the False Claims Act (FCA). This marks the fourth consecutive year that recoveries exceeded $3.5 billion. It was also the sixth consecutive year that over 700 new cases were brought under the FCA’s qui tam provisions, which allows whistleblowers (also known as relators) to bring false claims suits on behalf of the government and thereby share in any monetary recovery.

Of the over $3.5 billion that was recovered, about $2.9 billion, or roughly 81 percent, was obtained due to qui tam suits. In the cases where the government refused to intervene, approximately $1.1 billion was recouped. That’s a substantial amount, and in fact, the $1.1 billion figure sets a new record. Also setting a new record was the total amount that was awarded to whistleblowers—a whopping $597 million.

FCA Whistleblowing Trends Arising from 2015 Actions


False Claims Act recoveries that occurred during 2015 are noteworthy because they spawned some seeming trends:

  • Whistleblowers appear to be more willing to proceed with FCA actions even when the government does not intervene in the action. Qui tam cases in which there was no government intervention substantially increased during 2015. As mentioned previously, FY 2015 produced a marked increase in recoveries for qui tam cases where the government declined to intervene. These facts should encourage whistleblowers to persist in non-intervened cases.
  • Because we have now seen six consecutive years in which over 700 FCA claims were filed annually, it appears that the DOJ will continue to devote resources to FCA enforcement. The increase in cases is indeed a new trend, because, before 2010, only one year topped 700 filed FCA claims. The increase in cases can be partly explained by the expansion of the scope of FCA liability that arose from the 2009 Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act.
  • During FY 2015, increased attention was paid to FCA cases, especially big-money ones. In all likelihood more government attention will be focused on the conduct of individuals named in FCA matters, resulting in both civil and criminal cases. An expanding enforcement of anti-fraud statutes will therefore be likely to continue.

What Does This Mean for Me?

How does all of this affect you? If you are considering a whistleblower action, it is more imperative than ever that you consult with a qualified attorney to assist you with your claim. Government intervention may not be assured, but certain ways exist that can encourage them to intervene. Federal authorities now appear convinced that the investigation of fraud and false claims against the government should be encouraged, in an effort to see more whistleblowers step forward.

Hands-on help. Exceptional results.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, an experienced whistleblower attorney like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form.

SC Medicare Fraud LaywerIn the largest series of arrests for Medicare fraud to date, 243 health care workers—including 46 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals—were nabbed in a nationwide sweep. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which includes personnel from the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and local law enforcement organizations, led the takedown in 17 areas over the course of three days. It is alleged that the health care professionals generated roughly $712 million of fraudulent Medicare billings.

The charges run the gamut from kickbacks to money-laundering to identity theft to just plain, old-fashioned fraud. One California doctor in particular supposedly created nearly $23 million in fraudulent billings. This one doctor’s illegal actions encompassed more than 1,000 powered wheelchairs, as well as certain home health services that were not only medically unnecessary, they were frequently not even supplied.

Some cases involved overstating the amount of time that individual treatments took; others consisted of billing Medicare millions of dollars for unneeded or non-requested equipment. Prescription drugs played a part as well: the FBI claims that more than 44 defendants defrauded the prescription drug program that is known as Medicare Part D.

Some other specific situations that were part of the sweep were:

  • Miami, FL: The FBI charged 73 persons because of $263 million in fraudulent billings in the areas of mental health services, home health care, and prescription drugs.
  • Houston and McAllen, TX: $38 million in false billings implicated 22 people. In one case, individuals were coached by the defendant on what to tell doctors so they could appear eligible for certain Medicare services. These folks were then paid money for doing so. The defendant allegedly received more than $4 million arising from these fraudulent actions.
  • New Orleans, LA: Eleven individuals were involved in psychotherapy and home health care schemes. In only one case out of several, Medicare was falsely billed for $38 million, with the four defendants paid $22 million.

After the arrests, a number of providers were suspended by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well.

For the record, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch noted, “This action represents the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice, and it adds to an already remarkable record of enforcement. The defendants charged include doctors, patient recruiters, home health care providers, pharmacy owners, and others. They billed for equipment that wasn’t provided, for care that wasn’t needed, and for services that weren’t rendered.”

The level of fraud is staggering. Fortunately, people who care about stopping such crooked practices are on the case and continue to come forward.

If you’d like more information about this case and other major whistleblower cases—defense contractor fraud, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and Medicare plus other health care fraud—please see our recent infographic. [Editor: place link here]

Listening hard. Working harder.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, including Medicare or other health care fraud, an experienced whistleblower attorney like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form.

SC Student Loan Fraud LawyerEducational loan abuse and fraud are starting to see their share of whistleblowers bringing cases under the False Claims Act (FCA). Student loans taken under dubious circumstances have become multi-million-dollar moneymakers at for-profit schools like ITT and the University of Phoenix.

In February, 2016, the US District Court of South Carolina awarded a default judgment of $9,283,123 against Lacy School of Cosmetology and its president, Earnest “Jay” Lacy, for false claims involving the US Department of Education and federal student loans and grants. The suit was filed under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, which enables private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the government and to receive a share of the recovery.

The whistleblower who brought the case claimed that the school was involved in various illegal practices concerning student loans. When the cosmetology school was investigated, the results indicated that the school intentionally failed to comply with federal student loan program regulations. There were unauthorized disbursements of funds, failures to give students refunds when they had credit balances, and a deliberate hiding of illegal actions by turning in false compliance statements.

Lacy’s schools, which closed in March, 2014, were located in Aiken (main campus), Lexington, Goose Creek and Charleston. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Sneed commented, “The Department of Education canceled participation with the Lacy School of Cosmetology because they were not complying with their guidelines. It was discovered that, among other things, the school employed instructors without proper credentials. That can’t happen under the guidelines.”

Both damages and penalties comprise the over $9 million that Lacy and the school have been ordered to pay. The actual damages consisted of $2,078,448 in Pell Grants and $106,593 in federally-backed student loans. Because, according to the False Claims Act’s provisions, damages must be tripled, the total damages amount came to $6,555,123. As for penalties, the FCA compels a civil penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 per violation of the law, which meant a penalties total of $2,728,000.

US Attorney Bill Nettles expressed his pleasure with the outcome. “This use of the False Claims Act shows we are on the leading edge of qui tam litigation across the country. Through this type of litigation we continue our efforts to stop fraud and protect federal funds.”

The whistleblower’s award has not yet been determined, but under the FCA, it can be between 15 and 30 percent when the suit is successful.

Listening hard. Working harder.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, including federal educational loan and grant fraud, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form.

SC Healthcare Fraud LawyerTwo whistleblowers—a cardiac nurse and a healthcare consultant—are sharing more than $3.5 million, which is their portion of a $23 million qui tam False Claims Act settlement. The case, which was resolved mid-February of 2016, involved 51 hospitals that allegedly disobeyed Medicare rules regarding coverage of implanting heart defibrillation devices.

The hospitals in 15 states were allegedly charging for implanting cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, in patients who weren’t supposed to receive them under certain rules. An ICD functions similarly to an external defibrillator, delivering a shock to the patient’s heart when an abnormal heart rhythm is detected. The difference is that the ICD is small enough to be implanted in the chest, near the heart. Only patients who have specific health characteristics and risk factors are eligible for ICD reimbursement under Medicare rules. Each pocket-watch-sized device costs about $25,000.

A Medicare National Coverage Determination (NCD) states that the implantation of ICDs should not occur until 40 days after a heart attack and 90 days after a bypass or angioplasty. The purpose of the waiting period is to give the heart the chance to get better on its own, thus eliminating the need for an ICD. In this case, the Department of Justice alleged that the hospitals in question implanted ICDs between 2003 and 2010 before the waiting period of 40 or 90 days was up.

Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), commented, “We will not stand idly by while Medicare coverage rules are ignored. OIG worked closely with the Department of Justice to ensure such violators made substantial payments to settle these false billing claims.”

Some of the hospitals who paid the most under the settlement agreement are:

  • Dignity Health, San Francisco, and its 18 affiliates ($5.9 million).
  • Monongalia County General Hospital, Morgantown, WV ($4.8 million).
  • Northwell Health Inc., New York, and its six affiliates ($2.5 million).
  • Sentara Healthcare, Norfolk, Virginia, and its seven affiliates ($2.1 million).

The settlements were part of an investigation into hundreds of hospitals suspected of improperly billing Medicare for ICDs. To date, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation has resulted in payments amounting to more than $280 million and involving over 500 hospitals. The DOJ declared that the settlements were only allegations and did not determine liability on the part of the named hospitals.

Hands-on help. Exceptional results.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, including Medicare or other health care fraud, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form.

SC Whistleblower AttorneyOn December 3, 2015, the District of South Carolina’s U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that it had collected over $7 million during fiscal year 2015 for U.S. taxpayers in various criminal and civil cases. In criminal actions, roughly $4.4 million was received, while for civil actions, the amount was almost $2.7 million. Most of the $7 million collected came from False Claims Act and whistleblower actions.

Savannah River Site and Parsons Government Services

In the first of the two largest payouts, a large contractor working at the Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation near Aiken, SC, settled with the government for $3.8 million. The government alleges that Parsons Government Services committed several False Claims Act violations centered on overcharging taxpayers with regard to its employee per diem and relocation compensation. If true, these practices would have greatly and unnecessarily inflated costs borne by the taxpayer. It should be noted that the claims resolved by the settlement carry no determination of liability on the part of Parsons, but we can only hope that the win will deter future wrongdoing by others who work for the Department of Energy.

HCA Holdings, Inc.

In the second of the two largest payouts, HCA Holdings, Inc. settled allegations of health care fraud involving diagnostic testing for $2 million. The amount includes damages and penalties. In this case, an HCA employee blew the whistle, bringing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act. It was alleged that HCA hospitals submitted claims both for unnecessary tests and for the double-billing of certain tests. Double-billing constitutes fraud. The whistleblower will receive 20 percent of the settlement, or $400,000.

Summation of FY 2015 Collections

As part of his December announcement regarding the funds collected for US taxpayers because of the successful anti-fraud cases, United States Attorney Bill Nettles said, “Our office has made a substantial commitment to combatting fraud and collecting funds improperly procured. Our commitment, including 10 full time lawyers and investigators, has made this district one of the leaders in combatting government fraud. We hope that businesses and individuals who commit fraud recognize that the consequences of fraud are more than just the cost of doing business.”

80 Years of Experience—on Your Side

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form. Louthian Law Firm. Discipline. Diligence. Dedication.

HDL WhistleblowerWhistleblower cases involving the Veterans Administration (VA) took a significant upturn in fiscal year 2015, according to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Although it is small—with only 140 employees—and independent, the agency’s job is to protect whistleblowers and other federal employees from prohibited personnel actions. The OSC’s 2015 whistleblower disclosures rose 56 percent from 2014, for a total of 755 disclosures for the fiscal year. A large amount of the increase is the result of a waterfall of new cases from the VA.

Opinions differ as to why the 2015 increase was so dramatic. Some believe that the uptick is due to continuing problems at the VA, and associated retaliatory actions against those who blew the whistle. In the past, various scandals over the treatment of veterans had been revealed, with whistleblowers subsequently threatened. The OSC settled three cases of retaliation against Veterans Administration (VA) whistleblowers in April, 2015.

Others believe the increase in cases is proof that Bob McDonald, the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department who was sworn in in September, 2014, is succeeding according to his stated mission. He promised to protect employees who revealed fraud, waste, and wrongdoing at the VA. The increase in cases may be a sign that McDonald is finding some success at creating a culture more comfortable for whistleblowers.

Still others credit the OSC’s Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner, who has a track record of protecting whistleblowers and intervening in cases of retaliation against them. The success rate for those who bring their case to the OSC has increased along with the agency’s workload; 278 cases were resolved favorably for employees in fiscal year 2015. That represents an increase of more than 800 percent since fiscal year 2008. “As OSC obtains more positive outcomes for whistleblowers, our results promote confidence, and more employees are willing to step forward to file a claim or make a disclosure of wrongdoing,” commented Nick Schwellenbach, a spokesman for the OSC.

Whatever the cause, it appears that more whistleblower cases involving the VA are seeing the light of day, and that retaliation against those who report the wrongdoing is being dealt with appropriately. The law forbids retaliatory actions against those who bring a case under the False Claims Act.

80 Years of Experience—on Your Side

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online contact form. Louthian Law Firm. Listening hard. Working harder.

SC Ambulance Fraud LawyerWhen you think of Medicare fraud, ambulance services might not come to mind. After all, in a life-threatening situation, you’re going to call 911 for an ambulance. You’re not going to think about kickbacks, unnecessary procedures, upcoding, and other deceitful practices happening in the ambulance industry. And yet, ambulance fraud is big business for some Medicare suppliers.

Fraud Abounding

It turns out that vulnerability to fraud has always been part of Medicare ambulance transport. Because of that, in 2013 and 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) declined to enroll new ambulance providers in two geographical locations. In the first half of 2012, about one in five ambulance companies demonstrated questionable billings and more than half of disputed transports occurred in just four metropolitan areas. In order of the percentage of questionable trips, they were Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston. These four cities alone accounted for 52 percent of all possibly-fraudulent ambulance transportation, as compared with 18 percent of all dubious billings nationwide.

Government investigators revealed in September, 2015, that Medicare paid out more than $50 million based on possibly improper or fraudulent billing from ambulance providers. Included in these payments are $30 million for ambulance rides, during one six-month period, for which no evidence exists that patients received any care at their destination.

In 2012, Medicare paid nearly $6 billion to ambulance companies. That’s more money than either cancer doctors or orthopedic surgeons received during that time. With so much money floating around, the possibilities for fraud seem nearly endless.

Whistleblowers Winning Cases

However, whistleblowers have been coming forward to nail the companies that have been committing Medicare fraud. Whistleblower cases involving Medicare ambulance fraud include:

  • In 2002, an ambulance company paid penalties of $9 million for ambulance fraud, with the whistleblowers receiving approximately $1.6 million. In 2006, this same company paid penalties of $20 million for ambulance fraud. In this case, the whistleblower received around $3.8 million.
  • In 2004, a health care organization’s settlement for ambulance fraud was $20 million. The whistleblowers divided about $2.4 million.
  • In the spring of 2015, a former employee of a Massachusetts ambulance firm filed a claim alleging that the owners repeatedly violated the False Claims Act between 2005 and 2013. (The owners fired her in 2013.) The case is still open.

Medicare whistleblowers can receive payouts of 15 to 30 percent of the penalties paid if the suit brought under the False Claims Act is successful.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, including Medicare or Medicaid fraud, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online consultation form. Louthian Law Firm. Seeking truth. Securing justice.

SC Whistleblower AwardsSettlements and judgments from cases involving fraud and false claims brought under the False Claims Act (FCA) totaled more than $3.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2015. That makes four years in a row that FCA recoveries have exceeded $3.5 billion. Of that $3.58 billion for FY 2015, a record amount—$2.91 billion—was recovered by the government because of cases initiated by whistleblowers.

With several billions recovered, awards to the whistleblowers themselves in FY 2015 have been equally large. The portion of the $2.91 billion paid to those who blew the whistle set another record, tallying $597.6 million. Awards in declined cases (cases in which the government declines to prosecute, leaving the whistleblower to forge ahead by themselves) amounted to $334.6 million of the $597.6 million, which established one more record. Less than half—44 percent, or $263 billion—of the awards were paid in cases where the government intervened (i.e., joined the case).

The Largest 2015 Awards

Some of the largest recoveries, and their whistleblower awards, that occurred in FY 2015 included:

  • The Internal Revenue Service awarded $11.6 million in a tax noncompliance case to an anonymous whistleblower.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) awarded the third-highest whistleblower amount since the advent of Dodd-Frank, giving over $3 million to a company insider.
  • The SEC also awarded more than $325,000 to a former investment company employee who provided specific tips regarding fraudulent activity.

The Largest Recoveries Where Awards Have Not Yet Been Determined

Because it can take a while for decisions to be handed down with regard to the exact amount of whistleblower awards, the following large recovery cases occurred in 2015 in which the whistleblower awards have not yet been decided:

Whistleblower cases have successfully helped our country reduce fraud and waste in our government. Total monetary recoveries since January 2009 to the end of FY 2015 amount to $26.4 billion. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, applauded the whistleblowers. “Many of the recoveries obtained under the False Claims Act result from courageous men and women who come forward to blow the whistle on fraud they are often uniquely positioned to expose.”

Seeking truth. Securing justice.

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit).

One of the most important reasons to contact a qualified whistleblower attorney is that you are much more likely to meet with success if your claim is clear, concise and substantive. The Louthian Law Firm can help you structure your claim in such a way that the government will be more likely to intervene in your case, possibly increasing the chances that you will recover reward money. Even if the government doesn’t decide to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without government involvement, with our strong support through every step of the process.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online consultation form. Louthian Law Firm. On the case. Around the clock.

No Protection by Whistleblower Law for Congressional StaffersYou’d think that Congress would take care of its own. When it comes to benefits, it seems as if they always do. So it might astonish you to know that, of all the classes of people protected by whistleblower laws, Congressional staffers have been left out in the cold. They are not protected.

In October, 2015, Major Bradley Podliska was fired while working for the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Major Podliska claims he was fired because he would not restrict the focus of his inquiry to former Secretary of State Clinton and the State Department.

What Does This Mean?

Effectively, the lack of whistleblower protection for Congressional staffers means that anyone who might have a reasonable suspicion of Congressional corruption is silenced. Legislative aides must keep their mouths shut if they witness abuse of power, fraud, or the wasting of taxpayer money, or else risk losing their jobs (and possible future employment). After all, who would be willing to step forward in the face of such sanctions as losing your livelihood, simply for telling the truth?

Because Podliska worked as a staffer for the legislative branch, the existing federal whistleblower laws offered him no protection whatsoever. Major Podliska’s attorneys say that they will file suit, claiming that Podliska suffered retaliation from senior committee members because he took leaves when the Air Force twice called him into active duty.

The committee alleged that the reason Podliska was fired was that he mishandled classified information, but there are doubts that he actually did so.

The Way Forward

Workers in the executive branch of our government file about 1,500 reports each year, alleging whistleblower retaliation. A fair number of these reports have focused needed attention on reforming government services, such as the various improvements brought about by Veterans Administration and TSA whistleblowers. So it is likely that whistleblowing by workers in the legislative branch could also result in needed changes. And yet Congressional staffers have no protections, unlike many other public and private employees who witness fraud and lawbreaking and step forward to report it.

Legislative branch abuses mean that our lawmaking body cannot govern effectively. Such abuses also impact taxpayer funds and contribute to the continuing destruction of the people’s trust in democratic government. The legislative staffers who have the courage to step forward should be afforded the same protections as other public employees. It is time for Congress to do something about this issue.

80 Years of Experience—on Your Side

If you have knowledge concerning fraud against the government, an experienced whistleblower attorney  like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm can assess your case and help you file the necessary disclosure statement. In some instances, the government will intervene (take part in your lawsuit). A qualified attorney can help you structure your claims in such a way that the government will be persuaded to intervene, possibly increasing the likelihood that you will recover reward money. However, even if governmental parties decide not to intervene, it might still be advisable to pursue your case without their involvement.

For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-888-440-3211 or fill out the online consultation form. Louthian Law Firm. Listening hard. Working harder.