False Claims Act and Qui Tam Lawsuit Legal Defense Team Serving all of Missouri

Qui tam lawsuits in Missouri often cause providers and facilities to be investigated for violating the False Claims Act. If you’re named as a qui tam defendant or if you’re informed that you’re being investigated for violating the False Claims Act, call The Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP. We are a qui tam defense law firm serving the State of Missouri. In addition to qui tam defense, we assist clients in need of criminal defense, representation during federal investigations, and during other legal issues. We also help clients minimize the risk of these allegations by implementing regulatory compliance programs. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP’s defense team is managed by a former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator from a U.S. Attorney’s Office. Our defense lawyers have outstanding legal credentials. Many on our defense team have former experience as federal prosecutors and senior trial attorneys. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP serves clients in the entire State of Missouri.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP operates in the fields of False Claims Act defense and qui tam lawsuit defense. Our law firm has significant experience in regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, litigation, federal government investigations, and in criminal defense. Our fraud defense lawyers include a former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, several former health care fraud prosecutors, elite former lead prosecutors of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and accomplished health care fraud defense lawyers with leading education from the country’s best law schools, including Yale and Harvard. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP provides False Claims Act and qui tam defense services in Missouri.

False Claims Act Investigations in Missouri

Missouri health care providers, entities, facilities, and businesses have a higher chance of exposure to a False Claims Act investigation than similar entities in the rest of the nation. The State of Missouri is one of nine areas in the United States that is watched more closely by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force than most other areas. This happens because providers, entities, and businesses in Missouri submit a vast number of claims for reimbursement to federal health care programs. The increase in claims occurs because of the number of people in the State of Missouri who rely upon a federal health care program. The federal government believes that there is a correlation between the increase in the number of claims filed in an area and an increase of False Claims Act violations.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a mixed group of investigators and prosecutors. It includes members of the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the DEA, the FBI, the IRS, and can include other agencies. This agency has one job: To look for, investigate, and prosecute False Claims Act violations. If you’re contacted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP right away to schedule your confidential initial consultations. Initial consultations are free of charge.

False Claims Act Basics

The False Claims Act is a federal regulation that covers any individual, business, or organization with a direct or an indirect contract with and that will be reimbursed by the federal government. The False Claims Act also establishes civil and criminal penalties for any person, corporation, contractor, or business that knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false claim for approval and payment by the federal government.

Actual knowledge of a false claim or of the intention to file a false claim isn’t a necessity to bring about criminal or civil punishment. Legal liability happens because, as an industry professional, the federal government believes that you knew or that you should have known that what happened would violate the False Claims Act.

Medical coding provides a clear example of how the lack of actual knowledge isn’t required. The release of ICD-10 made some codes obsolete. Whether you choose to hire someone in your office or outsource your coding needs, you have the legal obligation to ensure that the most up-to-date codes are used. If your employee or contractor uses an outdated code, you could be held legally liable and face serious civil and criminal penalties.

The Civil and Criminal Penalties of False Claims Act Violations

If you violate the False Claims Act, you may face civil and criminal charges. If you are investigated for violating the False Claims Act, you should contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP today. We can help you find out if you are facing civil or criminal charges.

Civil penalties are handled by the civil court. They can affect you for the rest of your life. You could be subjected to one or more of the following:

  • Treble damages (damages that are three times more than the amount that the claim is worth)
  • A fine of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • State disciplinary proceedings
  • Loss of your professional license
  • Loss of hospital privileges
  • You could be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees for the federal government

Criminal penalties can include fines and prison time. You may be subjected to one or more of the following criminal penalties:

  • Criminal record
  • Prison time
  • A fine of $250,000 per claim for individuals for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $500,000 per claim for businesses for federal felony convictions
  • A fine of $100,000 per claim for individuals for a misdemeanor conviction
  • A fine of $200,000 per claim for businesses for a misdemeanor conviction

Qui Tam Lawsuits in Missouri

Qui tam lawsuits in Missouri are often the main reason why False Claims Act investigations occur. These lawsuits were created to provide a way for private citizens to protect the government from paying illegal claims. Qui tam is Latin. The definition is “he who sues for the king and himself.” These lawsuits are incentivized to encourage citizens to protect the government. Plaintiffs, known as ‘qui tam realtors,’ receive a portion of the recovered funds in a successful qui tam lawsuit.

Sadly, qui tam lawsuits are commonly abused in Missouri. What was once used as a tool for legitimate whistleblowers, they are now filed by malcontented former employees and competitors. These lawsuits are filed in federal court. Where your health care business operates will determine which federal court the lawsuit will be filed in. These lawsuits are sealed to protect the identity of the whistleblower. Unsealed copies are provided only to the federal investigators and presiding judge.

These investigations can take a lot of time. Because of this, the court will grant six month extensions to ensure that the federal government will have the time that it needs to finish the investigation. From the very beginning of the investigation, your lawyer has the opportunity to be in contact with the federal government. This direct contact can be extremely beneficial because your lawyer can begin to advocate on your behalf and ask how the investigation can be resolved. The length of time that it may take to settle the claims will depend on their complexity.

During the investigation, you’ll receive subpoenas. The subpoenas may come from the FBI, the DEA, DOJ, or other federal agencies. You may be required to run over your corporate, financial, billing, and communication records. After they review the records, the government will decide if it wants to support the case. If the government declines its support, the case isn’t necessarily dead. The plaintiff can elect to support the federal government. If the plaintiff is successful, they will receive 30 percent of the recovered funds.

If the federal government decides to support the qui tam lawsuit, it is known as ‘government intervention.’ This is a very serious matter because the federal government must first get permission from the Department of Justice. It means that you will likely face more charges, such as violating the Anti-Kickback Act and the Truth in Negotiation Act. If the qui tam lawsuit is successful against you, the plaintiff will receive 25 percent of the recovered funds.

Established Defenses for Missouri False Claims Act Investigations

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has substantial experience because of our mix of attorneys. Because of our collective experience, we’ve established defenses for Missouri False Claims Act violations. Most False Claims Act investigations in Missouri do not start because someone had the intention of defrauding the government. It happens either because of a mistake or because of an abusive qui tam lawsuit. We’ve developed the following principles to assist our Missouri clients:

Risk of criminal charges. If you’re being investigated for violating the False Claims Act, you’re risking criminal charges. Our objective is to minimize this risk. We use our experience as former federal health care prosecutors and defense attorneys to scrutinize the likelihood of criminal charges. We work with federal investigators to determine the exposure our clients face and what can be done to resolve the investigation. We contact federal investigators right away to get the answers that you need about your case. We can usually get answers to the important questions within just a few hours following our engagement.

Qui tam defense strategies. In Missouri, qui tam lawsuits commonly initiate a False Claims Act investigation. For our clients who are named defendants of qui tam lawsuits, we provide aggressive defense techniques to discredit the allegations and the plaintiff. Our objective is to show the federal government that the claims made against you have no merit.

Amicable settlements. When the federal government notifies us that our client is facing civil liability, we work toward an amicable settlement. To date, none of our False Claims Act clients have been forced by the federal government to close down their practice or business.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has successfully represented doctors, clinic owners, physician owned-entities, toxicology labs, DME companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, marketing companies that work in health care, clinics, hospitals, and many other health care-related entities in relation to False Claims Act violations. We also assist defendants in qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law violations, Anti-Kickback statute violations, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and Department of Labor investigations.

Our Track Record

The attorneys of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP have successfully defended physicians, practice owners, physician owned entities, toxicology laboratories, device companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, health care marketing companies, hospitals, and many others in False Claims Act, qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and DOL investigations.

  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (DME Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Device Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Health Care Service Provider)
    Result: No Liability.

Call Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP now and ask to speak with our Health Care Fraud Defense Team about your case. Initial consultations are confidential and free.

False Claims Act Violation Defense Attorneys Serving Missouri

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick Oberheiden has successfully represented health care executives, business owners, public officials, physicians, and lawyers in high profile prosecutions, during accusations of political corruption, government investigations, and directed media campaigns, including 60 Minutes. He is most known for stopping federal investigations before criminal charges can be filed. In addition to his health care defense practice, Dr. Oberheiden leads internal investigations, implements corporate compliance programs, and teaches U.S. criminal law and federal litigation in the United States and abroad.

Lynette ByrdLynette S. Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). Clients greatly benefit from Ms. Byrd’s experience from the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, False Claims Act, and Stark violations on behalf of the United States. Ms. Byrd has immense experience with health care law enforcement, and she regularly argues federal matters for her clients.

We are available every day of the year. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by emailing us directly.

888-997-2520
Including Weekends
Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
Serving the State of Missouri and Surrounding Areas
www.medicare-lawyer.com
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.