When an employee blows the whistle on an employer and files a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government, the government can choose whether or not to join the lawsuit. If the government investigates the case and decides not to join, the whistleblower can still go ahead with the lawsuit and, if successful, receive a percentage of any amount that is recovered.
A former employee of Florida-based Liberty Ambulance Services, Inc., filed a qui tam lawsuit that the federal government recently joined. The suit, which was filed under the False Claims Act, alleges Liberty Ambulance systematically falsified claims to receive and maximize reimbursements from federal health care programs.
According to the complaint, Liberty Ambulance schemed over a 10-year period to defraud the government of tens of millions of dollars. Specifically, the company is accused of training employees to falsify records and submit false statements meant to justify ambulance transports that were medically unnecessary.
The complaint further alleges that, as part of a kickback scheme, Liberty Ambulance offered special rates to hospitals, nursing homes and other private payors but not to the government. These discounts, the lawsuit claims, were offered in exchange for exclusive access to the federally subsidized patient population.
If you have legal concerns similar to the ones discussed here, then don’t hesitate to speak with a False Claims Act and qui tam claims attorney. The whistleblower provisions in the False Claims Act have been highly effective in helping the government recover billions of dollars, and whistleblowers stand to receive sizable rewards for their help.