2022 Emerging Whistleblower Trends for qui tam

January 21, 2022

Background: The False Claims Act Provides Substantial Whistleblower Awards

The False Claims Act empowers regular, everyday people, working with a whistleblower law firm, to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government to stop someone else from cheating the government. In return for blowing the whistle on such fraud, the successful whistleblower receives a portion of what the government recovers. Many states have analogous laws directed at stopping fraud on state government programs; some of these state laws allow for whistleblower awards of up to 50% of what the government recovers.

Every year, federal and state governments lose hundreds of billions of dollars due to fraud. Whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act (technically known as qui tam lawsuits) have been a very effective way for governments to recoup some of those losses. In each of the last ten years (2011-2021), the federal government has recovered more than $2 billion through False Claims Act cases and awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to whistleblowers using False Claims Act law firms. These impressive sums are only the tip of the iceberg – it’s estimated that each year, hundreds of billions of dollars of fraud on the government go undetected.

Incentivized by the prospect of significant qui tam awards, whistleblowers are coming forward in record numbers. Savvy whistleblowers know it’s critical to work with a top whistleblower law firm with expertise and a proven track record in this area of the law. Per legal analytics firm Lex Machina, Brown, LLC is one of a handful of top qui tam law firms, based on cases filed in the past half-decade, and our whistleblower lawyers expect to maintain or even improve that ranking in 2022.

Under the False Claims Act a whistleblower can receive up to 30% of the government’s recovery, which is a significant economic inducement to do the right thing. On the flip side, when the federal government comes investigating the case, if you’re not part of the solution they may think you’re part of the problem, which may cost you in the long run. Lesson learned – consult with qui tam counsel early and often.

2022: Mo’ money, mo’ problems (as Notorious B.I.G. would say)

Whistleblower litigation will continue to be very active in 2022, especially given the massive amount of unsupervised federal money that was spent through the Paycheck Protection Program, and the even larger amount that has now been allocated to renewing the country’s physical infrastructure.

PPP Loan Fraud

A study by the University of Texas at Austin identified 1.51 million questionable PPP loans totaling over $68.9 billion. So far, the government has largely been pursuing PPP fraud through criminal prosecutions, but civil enforcement is increasing. Brown, LLC has already filed several PPP loan fraud qui tam complaints, and will continue to pursue these predatory fraudsters. Insiders with knowledge of an employer filing a false PPP loan application or misusing loan proceeds should contact the PPP loan fraud whistleblower law firm of Brown, LLC immediately.

Infrastructure Contracting Fraud

The spigot has not yet opened for federal infrastructure spending, but when that money begins to flow, fraudsters will be there with buckets and boats to catch it. Government-contracting fraud – whether for $640 toilet seats or bridges to nowhere – has long been a serious problem, and the $1 trillion allocated in the infrastructure legislation will no doubt be a temptation impossible to resist. Accordingly, we expect a definite uptick in contracting fraud in 2022. If you have insider information that a company is not performing on its contracts with the government, or submitting false information in the contract-bidding process, contact the whistleblower attorneys at Brown, LLC today.

Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

In addition to those newer kinds of fraud, we expect Medicare and Medicaid fraud to continue like, well, gangbusters. For all of their maddening complexities and inefficiencies, Medicare and Medicaid do a lot to keep our nation healthy, in large part because they generally reimburse providers first, and ask questions later about whether those reimbursements were proper. Because they operate in this way, Medicare and Medicaid have always been favorite targets for cheaters and fraudsters. Both programs are expected to grow – Medicare as our nation’s population ages, and Medicaid due to job losses and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Medical insiders with information about upcoding, billing for services not provided, kickbacks or other fraud on Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, CHAMPVA, or any other government health-insurance program (including Medicare Advantage plans or other government managed-care plans administered by private insurers) should contact the qui tam lawyers at Brown, LLC today.

Conclusion

2022 promises to be yet another record-setting year for whistleblower litigation. The whistleblower lawyers at Brown, LLC expect to see a sharp increase in False Claims Act litigation over PPP loan fraud, and over contracting fraud once the infrastructure spending starts flowing. We also have no doubt that Medicare and Medicaid fraud will continue to be big business and an ever-expanding subject for litigation.

And we haven’t even addressed other whistleblowing mechanisms, such as through the SEC, the IRS, OSHA, NHSTA and other agencies – but those are topics for another time.

The experienced qui tam whistleblower attorneys at Brown, LLC are dedicated to serving and protecting those who have the courage to step up and blow the whistle to stop fraud on the government. If you have insider information about someone cheating the taxpayers, in any of the ways we’ve described here or in other ways, please contact us. You need to work with an experienced team from the very start to make sure that some procedural slip-up doesn’t make you ineligible for an eventual whistleblower award. We’ll guide you and your case through the thorny thicket of qui tam rules and regulations, and we’ll spare no effort in putting your case in the best possible light to help you obtain the award you deserve for your courage. And of course, we’re only paid if we win your case. Call the whistleblower law firm at Brown, LLC today at (877) 561-0000 for a free, confidential qui tam consultation, or email us at info@jtblawgroup.com.

In our next installment, we’ll discuss some legislative developments on the horizon for 2022.