False Claims Act Defense Lawyer

False Claims Act cases may be brought both criminally and civilly. The False Claims Act imposes liability on anyone who “knowingly” submits a “false” claim to the government. 31 U.S.C. Section 3729(a). Today, federal prosecutors charge violations of 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, alleging false statements involving the government or to a federal agent or agency. Very often, this statute is used in addition to charges of healthcare fraud and other federal crimes. Recently, the United States Supreme Court, in United States et al. ex rel. Schutte v. Supervalu Inc., et al, 143 S. Ct. 1391 (2023), held that two essential elements of a False Claims Act violations are (1) the falsity of the claim; and (2) the defendant’s subjective knowledge of the claim’s falsity.

Common examples of cases in which the government alleges False Claims Act violations include those that involve:

  • Overbilling the government;
  • Violating a government contract;
  • Stealing from the government;
  • Medicare or Medicaid fraud;
  • Knowingly selling a defective product to the government; and
  • Any other type of fraud committed against the government.

In the typical case alleging a False Claims Act violation, a whistleblower who has information that a business allegedly defrauded the government will file a l. If successful, the whistleblower can share in a portion of the money the government collects in the case.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government lawyers also use the False Claims Act, leveraging the penalties for a False Claims Act violation to obtain money damages and civil penalties and to augment criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Penalties for Violating the False Claims Act

If you are found guilty or liable for violating the False Claims Act, you face substantial fines and possible jail time.

Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, you could face up to three times the amount of the government’s alleged damages, plus civil penalties ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim. These fines and penalties can quickly reach millions of dollars when multiple false claims are alleged.

You also face criminal penalties, including years in prison, and exclusion from participating in federally funded programs.

Defending Against Allegations of a False Claims Act Violation

Defending against allegations of a False Claims Act violation is highly technical and complex. You need a lawyer who:

  • Knows and understands the False Claims Act. As a former enforcement attorney with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission, Hope Lefeber understands the False Claims Act and the potential civil and criminal exposure for false claims made to the government.
  • Understands contractual, statutory, and regulatory requirements for government transactions. Ms. Lefeber has extensive experience dealing with government investigations, especially those that are document-intensive and involve allegations of fraud and other white-collar crimes.
  • Has experience defending against government investigations and audits. Ms. Lefeber regularly defends clients in criminal investigations and litigation initiated by the DOJ, IRS and other federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Can communicate with the DOJ and other federal lawyers to convince them not to intervene. Many recoveries under the False Claims Act occur when the federal government intervenes to take over an action filed by a whistleblower. Ms. Lefeber has successfully convinced the government not to intervene in False Claims Act cases and can work to resolve cases directly with the DOJ.
  • Can conduct effective negotiations when settlement is in the client’s best interests. Many claims involving alleged violations of the False Claims Act are resolved through settlement negotiations. But a successful resolution is often premised upon the ability to raise a successful defense at trial. Backed by her considerable trial experience, Ms. Lefeber will aggressively work to negotiate a favorable resolution that is in the best interest of her client.
  • Can handle major litigation. Ms. Lefeber regularly defends clients in high-stakes federal court litigation involving allegations of federal crimes and other violations of federal law.

A common defense to allegations of a False Claims violation is lack of intent or “knowledge” that the claim was false. To establish a criminal violation of the False Claims Act, the government must prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil actions, the government must proveMs. Lefeber often defends against allegations of a False Claims Act violation by demonstrating that you lacked the intent or knowledge to defraud the government.

Contact Hope Lefeber for Defense Against Allegations of False Claims Act Violations

Hope Lefeber is highly skilled at developing strategies to defend government contractors and others against allegations of False Claims Act violations. She knows how to respond to and defend against allegations of False Claims Act violations, whether initiated by the Department of Justice or a whistleblower.

Ms. Lefeber has earned a reputation as a fierce advocate who tenaciously defends her clients against allegations of criminal activity and other wrongdoing. Meticulous and thorough in her analysis and preparation, Ms. Lefeber will mount an aggressive defense against allegations of False Claims Act violations and other allegedly illegal activity.

To put her experience to work for you, contact the Law Offices of Hope C. Lefeber today by calling 610-668-7927 or completing the online form.