Rory Delaney

Advice on

Qui Tam & Whistleblowing

You have discovered fraud at work. Maybe you’ve already spoken out or maybe you’re trying to decide. If you do nothing, you may be complicit; if you speak up, you may be fired. There is a way out.

OVERLINE HEADER HERE

What exactly is Qui Tam?

The Federal False Claims Act, known as the “qui tam” statute, enables an individual to bring a case on behalf of the government. The lawsuit is filed in secret while the government investigates. If you’re right, and there is a recovery, you can expect a reward of 15% to 30% of the damages.

The Act also provides a remedy for retaliation: double lost wages and future pay.

The False Claims Act covers these typical frauds:

1

Kickbacks

We all think we know what a bribe looks like, but do we? Most corporations are too sophisticated to get caught handing over brown paper bags of cash.
2

Off Label Marketing Fraud

To put it simply, a doctor can prescribe a drug for its “off label” effects (that is to say beneficial side effects) but a pharmaceutical company can’t market a drug for its off label effects.
3

“Upcoding” and billing for non-existent or unnecessary services

Along with flat-out bribery, this has got to be the most obvious of all false claims scenarios.
4

Patient Assistance Program Fraud

Patient Assistance Programs (“PAPs”) can play a vital role in making prescription drug copays affordable for Medicare patients (especially those relying on Part D insurance).
5

Nursing Home and Long-Term Healthcare Fraud

The most basic requirement for reimbursement eligibility under Medicare and Medicaid is that the service provided must be reasonable and medically necessary.
6

SEC Fraud

Over the last few years, the United States has seen an unprecedented level of economic turmoil. Thanks, in part, to fraud in the financial sector.

“The atmosphere in the office … it’s like walking a tightrope.”

ABOUT ME

Rory Delaney, Esq.

Rory Delaney is an attorney licensed to practice in federal courts across the United States. He graduated from the University of Cambridge, England with a degree in law in 1990. He worked as a solicitor for the global law firm of Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer in their London and Paris offices between 1992 and 1994 and subsequently Steptoe & Johnson, Rakisons in London until 1996. That year he became a barrister of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and concentrated his practice on criminal litigation, defending serious crimes and prosecuting on behalf of the Crown and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise.

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“This goes way deeper.”

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a sensitive, confidential process. Clients are rightly concerned about the consequences of coming forward. However, sometimes the consequences of not coming forward are worse. Here are some questions I am frequently asked:

What is a False Claims Act case?

The False Claims Act empowers a private citizen to file suit on behalf of the federal or state government. The government must be the victim of the fraud, so it is taxpayer money at issue. The suit is filed under court seal i.e. in secret. The government then investigates the case and may issue subpoenas for information from the target corporations or individuals.

Who can bring a False Claims Act case?

Any individual who is aware of fraud on the federal or state government can bring suit.

Can I be rewarded for blowing the whistle under the False Claims Act?

If the government recovers money thanks to information from a whistleblower, you may be entitled to between 15% and 30% of the government’s recovery.

What is the first-to-file rule?

The first-to-file rule means that the first whistleblower to file suit is likely the person who will be rewarded. This is the general rule, but it may not apply if the second whistleblower brings new information or new theories to the table.

How long does a False Claims Act case take?

Short answer: the better the case, the longer it takes. The federal government is adept at weeding out weak cases early. The better the case, the more resources and time will be spent on the investigation. A good case is rarely finished in under two years and often more like five.

I don’t live in the United States, can you still represent me in a False Claims Act case?

Geography is no barrier to representation. Under the federal False Claims Act, a suit can be filed in any one of the United States. You do not need to be an American citizen. You don’t even need to live in America.

I don’t live in Massachusetts, can you still represent me?

Yes. If I believe that the case is best filed in Massachusetts I can file suit here. If I believe that it is better filed in another state, then I find local counsel and we cooperate in the filing of the lawsuit.

Do I have to pay for representation in a False Claims Act case?

You should never have to pay out of pocket to pursue a False Claims Act case. I work on a contingency fee basis, so I only get paid if you get paid. I also pay for costs up front. This is high risk/high reward work, so I am happy to bear the risk of spending time and money on the case.

Can I be a whistleblower under the False Claims Act if I sign a severance agreement?

If your employer is asking you to sign a severance agreement, take a moment to get legal advice. Each situation must be assessed individually; sometimes it’s a question of when did you sign the agreement, before or after alerting the government? Sometimes it’s a question of what are the exact terms; does it say you won’t file a False Claims Act case, or does it say that you agree to forgo any reward from filing a case? You need legal advice about the effect of your particular severance agreement.

What does it mean for the government to “intervene” in a False Claims Act case?

When the government has completed its investigation, it decides to intervene or decline the case. This is the “intervention decision” and it is often pivotal in the success of a case. If the government decides to intervene, then probably, there will be a settlement. If the government decides not to intervene, then it is up to us to decide whether to litigate.

What is the government declines to intervene? Will you litigate a False Claims Act case?

Maybe. It is rare to litigate a declined case and very rare to take such a case to trial. But if the case is right and you are willing to move forward, we can litigate. This is a link to a case I recently litigated through trial:

READ THE ARTICLE

Will my name come out if I file a whistleblower case under the False Claims Act?

I advise my clients that they must assume that their names will become public. If the case is a success, then that will inevitably happen. If the case is unsuccessful, then there are times when your name will not come out. That cannot be guaranteed, so you should only move forward if you are willing to take the risk.

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    Please feel free to contact me on either the details below or using the secure form on the left. All enquiries will be in the strictest of confidence.

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    50 Congress Street,
    Suite 600,
    Boston, MA 02109

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    rory@rorydelaney.com

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