Federal and state False Claims Acts prohibit any person from knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the government, and from knowingly underpaying an obligation to the government. The prohibitions include causing the submission of false claims, and in some cases false claims made not directly to the government but to government contractors or grantees. Thus, even where the government is not directly paying for goods or services, claims often arise. These include:
Fraud by education programs including for-profit schools that enroll and obtain federal student loans and grants for students when the student or the school are not eligible for such funds.
Fraud in the massive Universal Service Fund programs: Connect America Fund (High-Cost Support), Lifeline (low-income phone service), E-Rate (schools and libraries), Rural Health Care Support (telehealth and telemedicine subsidies).
Misrepresenting the amount of oil, gas, or other natural resources extracted from public lands in order to fraudulently underpay royalties to the government.
Grant fraud or otherwise falsifying a grant application; billing multiple grants for the same work; misallocating grant funds to unauthorized expenses; or other fraud regarding grant or research funds.
Obtaining government funding, insurance, or loan guarantees under false pretenses, for example by misrepresenting the nature or costs of the project for which the funding, insurance, or guarantee is sought. Such fraud can arise in housing and mortgage programs, in federally-subsidized insurance programs, and elsewhere.
These are just some examples of the types of fraud that can arise in government contracts outside of the procurement process that might provide a basis for a whistleblower case. Whistleblowers play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the system and saving taxpayer money. If you would like more information, or would like to speak to a member of the Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please Contact us for a Confidential Consultation.