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San Antonio, Texas False Claims Act Violations Defense Attorneys

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Health Care and Medicaid Fraud Defense Attorneys Serving the San Antonio Area

With significant experience in the areas of regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, litigation, government investigations, and criminal defense, Oberheiden, P.C. is a health care law defense firm that is capable and tested. Among our attorneys are the former Chief Health Care Fraud Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, former senior Department of Justice trial attorneys, former lead prosecutors of the elite Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and other talented lawyers that give our firm years of experience in the field. Our firm serves clients in San Antonio as well as throughout Texas.

Health care providers, facilities, clinics, and businesses in San Antonio, Texas and its surrounding area face the growing risk of being investigated for violating the False Claims Act. Oberheiden, P.C. is a Texas law firm providing False Claims Act violation defenses for health care providers, businesses, and entities. Harvard-trained Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the managing principal lawyer. He provides legal assistance to clients in San Antonio and throughout Texas.

Lynette Byrd, former federal prosecutor, is also an integral member of the team. Prior to joining the Oberheiden, P.C., Ms. Byrd prosecuted False Claims Act violations, health care fraud, Stark Law violations, and Anti-Kickback violations.

The Reason Why San Antonio Faces This Risk

Although the federal government investigations False Claims Act violations across the entire nation, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force pays particular attention to San Antonio and the surrounding area. This is because San Antonio is one of nine areas in the United States that the federal government believes has a higher statistical probability of False Claims Act violations. This is because San Antonio and the surrounding area has a large population of federal health care program beneficiaries. The increase in the number of claims from the area means that the government pays more attention and watches for what they believe may be a violation of the law. In fact, the Department of Justice stated that they investigated more than 300 cases in 2016 and recovered more than $900 million in illegally paid out funds.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a federal task force made up of investigators and prosecutors from multiple federal agencies. If you’re being investigated, you could come into contact with agents, investigators, or prosecutors from the IRS, the DEA, DOJ, DOD, FBI, OIG, and the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s not uncommon for other federal agencies to be involved. If you discover that you’re being investigated for a potential violation of the False Claims Act, contact Oberheiden, P.C. immediately to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

Defining the False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is a federal statute that creates civil and criminal liability for individuals, contractors, businesses, or organizations with a direct or indirect contract, and those that will receive payment from the federal government for a false claim that is filed.

In law, ‘knowingly’ is more than having actual knowledge. It means that if you didn’t know, you should have known. For instance, if you hire a business to handle your ICD coding on your behalf and they use outdated or obsolete codes from a previous version of ICD, then you could be held legally responsible because you should have found out what codes they used before you contracted them. It’s about due diligence.

Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violating the False Claims Act

San Antonio health care providers, businesses, and facilities charged with violating the False Claims Act may face serious penalties in both civil and criminal court. Your professional life is on the line. Call Oberheiden, P.C. immediately. Once retained, we can assist you and find out whether you are facing civil or criminal charges.

Civil penalties may include one or more of the following:

  • Treble damages – paying the government three times the amount of the original claim
  • Payment of civil fines of up to $11,000 per false claim
  • Recoupment requests
  • Non-payment of future submitted claims
  • Future exclusion from federal health care programs
  • State licensure or disciplinary proceedings
  • Loss of hospital privileges

Criminal penalties may include one or more of the following:

  • Claims that cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Criminal charges
  • Up to five years in federal prison

The Most Common Cause of False Claims Act Investigations in San Antonio

In San Antonio, Texas, most False Claims Act investigations begin because someone files a qui tam lawsuit. Qui tam is Latin. It means “he who sues for the king and himself.” Initially, these lawsuits were an incentivized whistleblowing mechanism for private citizens. It was meant to encourage private citizens to report individuals and businesses that were defrauding the government. Now, they’re abused by former employees who are angry with you, and by dishonest competitors who are simply looking to stop you from being successful.

Qui tam lawsuits are filed in the Western District of Texas federal court. The cases are sealed with the exception of the copies of the case given to the assigned judge and the overseeing government officials. The plaintiff is referred to as the ‘qui tam realtor.’ Since False Claims Act investigations can be time-consuming, the court allows extensions to be filed. This is to give the government the time that it needs to finish the investigation.

Your business, financial, communication, and billing records will be subpoenaed during the investigation. The subpoenas may come from DOJ, DEA, DOD, IRS, FBI, OIG, or other federal agencies. After the government reviews the documents, it will decide whether to reject or support the qui tam lawsuit. If the government chooses to reject the lawsuit, it’s not over. The plaintiff has the option to keep the case alive without the support of the federal government. If the plaintiff wins, they will receive 30 percent of the recovered funds as a reward.

If the government decides to support the case, you may face additional charges. If you lose the qui tam lawsuit, the plaintiff will be entitled to receive 25 percent of the recovered funds as a reward. If you’re notified that you’re a defendant in a qui tam lawsuit, call Oberheiden, P.C. Our team of health care fraud defense attorneys can help defend you from the allegations and work to settle with the government on your behalf.

Using Key Defenses

Oberheiden, P.C. develops strategic defenses for each client by using our three guiding principles. These key principles were developed by our collective experience as both former federal health care fraud prosecutors and defense attorneys. We use these principles with clients all over the nation.

  1. Our first priority is to do what we can to reduce the possibility of criminal charges against our San Antonio clients. When you retain Oberheiden, P.C., we contact the federal officials to determine the purpose of the investigation, the charges you may be facing, and ask how the investigation can be resolved. Usually, we can get the answers to these important questions within just a few days. Early intervention is the key to a successful resolution.
  2. If there is a qui tam lawsuit pending against you, we use an aggressive attack on the case, its evidence, and the credibility of the plaintiff. Our goal is to show the government that the case doesn’t have any merit and that it does not deserve their support. This is important since most qui tam lawsuits aren’t started by goodhearted citizens who are legitimately concerned about the misuse of government money. They’re started by angry former employees and nervous competitors.
  3. In cases where civil liability is the main concern, we work to negotiate with the federal government on your behalf. We’ve successfully negotiated original damage amounts to small fractions of the original demand. None of our False Claims Act clients have needed to shut down their practice or business.

Oberheiden, P.C.

Oberheiden, P.C. serves clients in San Antonio, Texas and the surrounding area. We’ve helped defend nurses, ARNPs, doctors, clinics, hospitals, practice owners, physician-owned businesses, labs, pharmacies, hospice facilities, and other health care businesses accused of violating the False Claims Act, that were named as defendants in a qui tam lawsuit, or being investigating for violating Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, or involved in Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or Department of Labor investigations.

Here’s a small portion of our Track Record:

  • 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.

If you’re in the San Antonio or surrounding area and you’re being investigated for violating the False Claims Act or if you’re a named defendant in a qui tam lawsuit, call Oberheiden, P.C. now. Initial consultations are confidential and free of charge.

False Claims Act Defense Attorneys Serving San Antonio, Texas

Nick OberheidenDr. Nick Oberheiden has represented clients in qui tam lawsuits, False Claims Act investigations, Medicare fraud investigations, Tricare fraud investigations, Stark Law violations, 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). Detroit clients greatly benefit from Ms. Byrd’s previous experience with the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted health care fraud, Anti-Kickback violations, violations of the False Claims Act, and Stark Law violations on behalf of the United States. Ms. Byrd 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, use our contact form, or send us an email.

1-214-469-9009
Oberheiden, P.C.
Serving San Antonio, Texas and Surrounding Areas
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