California Healthcare Lawyer for False Claims Act Defense
The False Claims Act is one of the most powerful enforcement tools for healthcare regulators and the Department of Justice. Submitting false claims to the government, including by way of kickbacks or other unlawful schemes, can lead to massive liability, professional sanctions, and a variety of other serious consequences. If your healthcare organization is facing an investigation for possible FCA violations, you need to act quickly to preserve your license, avoid huge penalties, and protect your professional reputation. Your personal liberty may even be on the line. Call a seasoned California False Claims Act defense attorney at the Law Offices of Art Kalantar for advice and representation.
What Constitutes a False Claims Act Violation?
The FCA renders it unlawful for any person to submit a false claim to the government. The FCA covers making false claims directly to the government, causing someone else to submit false claims to the government, making false claims or submitting false records to get paid for a false claim by the government, as well as making deliberate efforts to avoid paying money owed to the government.
FCA liability may also be premised on claims submitted in violation of other laws. Violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute or the Stark Law that result in the submission of unlawful claims to the government can give rise to FCA liability, as can involvement in a conspiracy to defraud the government or violate related laws.
False Claims Act Penalties
FCA liability should not be taken lightly. The FCA levies specific penalties on a per-violation basis. Because each false claim submitted can give rise to a separate FCA violation, the civil penalties for an ongoing FCA scheme can be massive.
The FCA originally penalized violations at $5,000 to $10,000 per violation. The penalties, however, rise with inflation. As of December 2021, a single FCA violation is punishable with a fine of anywhere between $11,083 and $23,607. Certain agencies can seek higher penalties.
The government can seek additional penalties on top of the statutory fines. The government can seek up to three times the amount of damage caused to the government by the FCA violations, as well as the government’s legal costs in investigating and prosecuting the charges.
FCA violations can also carry ancillary consequences, including revocation of the defendant’s medical license, exclusion from Medicaid and other governmental programs, and other professional sanctions. When FCA violations are coupled with violations of other statutes such as the Stark Law, the penalties can be even greater.
Cooperation and Reducing Penalties
The FCA allows for a defendant to seek a reduced penalty for cooperating with the government’s investigation. Defendants who cooperate fully and do so in a timely manner can reduce their damages from treble (three times) the amount falsely claimed to only double that amount. Talk to an experienced FCA defense lawyer to discuss your options for cooperation, whether cooperation is your best option, and how to do so in an optimal manner that limits your liability.
Knowledgeable Legal Advice and Accomplished Representation for False Claims Act Defense
The False Claims Act is a far-reaching, complex statute that covers a wide range of conduct. It’s easy to run afoul of a law or regulation and find yourself the target of an FCA investigation. To protect your business, your finances, and, potentially, your freedom, call a seasoned False Claims Act defense lawyer. Your license, your practice, your assets, and your liberty may be at stake. The Law Offices of Art Kalantar and our FCA defense lawyer are ready to provide you with considered, effective legal advice and representation for your healthcare law matters in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
Call 310-773-0001 at any time to request a free case evaluation with the Law Offices of Art Kalantar in Beverly Hills.