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Midland-Odessa, TX False Claims Act Defense Lawyer

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Experienced Legal Defense for False Claims Act and Qui Tam Investigations Serving the Midland and Odessa Areas

Being accused of violating the False Claims Act can throw your business into disarray. The Oberheiden, P.C. produces resolutions to False Claims Act violations by formulating methods of strategic and ardent defense for health care practitioners, businesses, and facilities in the Midland-Odessa area of Texas. Our seasoned Health Care Fraud Defense Team can come to your aid by assisting you with both criminal and civil investigation. If you need answers from the government, we can get those answers. We can help you know what you need to know in order to put the allegations and accusations that hold your professional life back; we can help you to move on. If you’re under investigation, don’t delay for a moment longer. Call Oberheiden, P.C. right now. We’re accessible 7 days a week.

False Claims Act Investigations

The Department of Justice launched inquiries into over 300 cases of medical fraud in 2016. Since the genesis of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, there has not been a larger number of cases in a single year. Out of these 300 cases, 60 allegations involved doctors, nurses, and other licensed health care practitioners. Over 200 cases encompassed health care facilities and other health-related organizations. In total, these claimed accumulated to more than $900 million.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force and Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) are responsible for False Claims Act investigations. Thanks to Texas being one of nine regions in the United States that the federal government suspects to be at high risk of False Claims Act violations, health care practitioners and providers in the Midland-Odessa area should be aware of these two divisions. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force and HEAT are comprised of prosecutors and investigators from a multitude of federal agencies, including the FBI, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice. An averment against you claiming that you have violated the False Claims Act is a drastically consequential issue that should be immediately addressed.

The False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is a federal law that targets any person or business that has direct or indirect contacts with, and is paid by, the United States government. The False Claims Act presents a legal liability for any person, organization, business, or government contractor who knowingly submits or causes the submission of a bogus or fictitious claim for payment by the government.

However, the term “knowingly” is not as equivocal as being aware that a false claim was submitted to the federal government. In the occurrence of a violation of the False Claims Act, “knowingly” means that you knew (or should have known) that the consequence of your submission would be a violation of the statute. A simple scenario in health care can be observed within the recent health coding updates to the ICD-10. Were you or someone on your team to use an older, obsolete code, such an action could be considered a violation of the False Claims Act. This is because you or the person on your team should have spent time to determine if the correct code was utilized. This is an example of due diligence research.

Civil & Criminal Liability

Despite a considerable number of False Claims Act violations in the Midland-Odessa region of Texas being a result of human error and without criminal intent, they can still be reason for you to be both civilly and criminally liable. At the beginning of investigation proceedings, you may not know if the government is looking at the case with plans to pursue criminal charges. Oberheiden, P.C. can assist you by getting in contact with the government to ascertain the potential liabilities. Usually, we can get this information within a couple of days.

The civil court determines civil liability. As such, you could be assessed treble damages. Essentially, this means that you will be made to pay three times more than the amount that the government paid out on each bogus claim. Additionally, you could also be fined up to $11,000 per false claim.

Criminal liability, heard by the criminal court, is an entirely separate issue. It is possible that you could be given a five-year prison sentence and face large fines. The fine amount depends on what you have been charged with: A felony, or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors can bear charges of up to $100,000 per claim for an individual and up to $200,000 per claim for businesses. Felonies can bring with them charges of up to $250,000 per claim for individuals and up to $500,000 per claim for companies. In addition, you could be at risk for the revocation of your professional license(s).

Qui Tam Lawsuits

In the Midland-Odessa area of Texas, most False Claims Act investigations aren’t commenced by the federal government agency on its own. Investigations often arise from the angry and vindictive action of a disgruntled former employee, or even by a competitor. The False Claims Act provides for private citizens to initiate these claims on the federal government’s behalf.

Known as a qui tam lawsuit, the original objective of the qui tam was to aid the government in recovering money that they paid out on false claims. In Latin, qui tam is an expression that translates to “he who sues for the king and himself.” King is, of course, an allegorical reference to the federal government. Because those who embark upon a qui tam lawsuit are generally former employees or a competitor, their motives are often dubious rather than a moral crusade to avenge transgressions made against the federal government.

In a qui tam lawsuit, the plaintiff is also referred to as the “qui tam relator.” The plaintiffs in Midland-Odessa file their cases with the Western District of Texas. Qui tam cases are sealed in order to protect the plaintiff’s identity. If the plaintiff involved has a legitimate reason to become a whistleblower, such anonymity and confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Unsealed copies of the complaint are available to only the presiding judge and certain government officials. Due to the fact that the investigation performed by the federal government can be quite lengthy (lasting several months), extensions on the case can be filed and granted.

During the course of the investigation, it is a distinct possibility that you will be contacted by a variety of governmental agencies, including the FBI, the DEA, OIG, DOJ, DOD, and HHS. You will receive subpoenas demanding the production of your billing, corporate, financial, and communication records.

Over the duration of time that the government reviews your records, they can remain in contact with your chosen health care fraud defense attorney. The federal government can either decline to support the qui tam lawsuit or they can intervene. If they decide not to support the case, the individual who instigated the case retains the right to pursue it. Should the government choose to support the allegations, you are also at risk of incurring other charges, such as violations of the Truth in Negotiation Act or the Anti-Kickback Act.

Choosing to involve a health care fraud defense lawyer early in the investigation can help curb and often outright prevent the most severe of consequences, criminal charges. You should bear in mind that the original plaintiff will obtain a percentage of the money retrieved if you are found civilly or criminally liable. If the government doesn’t support the plaintiff, then he or she will be permitted to retain up to 30 percent of the recovery amount. If the government sustains their involvement in the qui tam case, the plaintiff becomes entitled to 25 percent of the recovery amount.

Proven Defense Strategies

Oberheiden, P.C.’s Health Care Fraud Defense Team is comprised of talented and highly experienced attorneys who have used their competence to successfully negotiate and defend False Claims Act cases throughout the United States. We have crafted a set of guidelines that we follow in order to minimize the risk of our clients.

  1. Early contact with the investigative teams. When the investigation first commences, it is very likely that you not know whether the charges you face are civil or criminal (or both) in nature. Being that our ultimate objective is to assist you in avoiding criminal charges, we use our experience to obtain the answers that you need. In general, we can find those answers within the first couple of days. In addition, we’ll also discern what the government is looking for and find out how this predicament can be laid to rest in its entirety. Our aim with early intervention is to aid you in protecting your professional license and your business.
  2. Qui tam defense. Remember that a majority of qui tam lawsuits in the Midland-Odessa area are a result of scorned former employees and conniving competitors. As such, we strive to closely scrutinize the evidence involved in the case. Afterward, we launch a full-scale assault on the source’s credibility. Revealing corrupt intent is one of the most effective ways by which we can defend you against government intervention in a qui tam case. When we can demonstrate that the plaintiff used unfounded claims, the government is far less likely to provide their support.
  3. Settlement. For most of our former civil liability cases, we’ve managed to successfully negotiate damage amounts to a small fraction of the government’s original demand. To date, absolutely none of our clients have been forced to end their practice or shut down their business as a result of a False Claims Act violation.

False Claims Act investigations are often time-consuming, and are a potent threat to your professional life. The path to successful resolution begins with an early start. Call Oberheiden, P.C. immediately to discuss the fine details of your case. Our consultations are completely confidential and free. Our phone lines are open and awaiting your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t have the time to call, our online contact form and email addresses are available for your use.

Oberheiden, P.C.

The attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. have successfully defended physicians, practice owners, physician-owned entities, toxicology laboratories, device companies, pharmacies, service management organizations, health care marketing companies, hospitals, and many others in False Claims Act, qui tam lawsuits, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and DOL investigations.

  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Laboratory Group)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (DME Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (MSO)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Physician Syndication)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Device Company)
    Result: No Liability.
  • False Claims Act Investigation (Health Care Service Provider)
    Result: No Liability.

Call Oberheiden, P.C. today and speak with former federal prosecutors and established defense counsel about your case. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

False Claims Act Defense Attorneys Serving Midland-Odessa, Texas

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick Oberheiden has represented clients in Qui Tam, False Claims Act, Medicare Fraud, Tricare Fraud, Stark Law, and anti-kickback proceedings before virtually all federal agencies including but not limited to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Labor (DOL). Dr. Oberheiden is trained in negotiations by Harvard Law School and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a Ph.D. in law.

Lynette ByrdLynette S. Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). Clients greatly benefit from Lynette’s experience from the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, False Claims Act, and Stark violations on behalf of the United States. Lynette has immense experience with health care law enforcement, and she regularly argues federal matters for her clients.

We are available to discuss your case. You can call us directly or complete our contact form or by sending us an email.

1 (214) 469-9009
Including Weekends
Oberheiden, P.C.
(800) 810-0259
(214) 469-9009
www.criminaldefense.com
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden, P.C. is a Texas firm with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.
Orange County 714-294-2000
Los Angeles 310-873-8140
Detroit 313-888-8807
Nationwide 888-452-2503