Anti-Kickback Statue Whistle Blower Law
At the MA law firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, we understand and appreciate the sensitive nature of bringing forward information regarding kick-back practices. With these difficulties in mind, our anti-kickback whistleblower lawyers will stand by your side and guide you through the whistle-blower lawsuit process. Our MA Whistleblower Lawyers are available to speak with you about your case 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, all communications are held in strict confidence.Anti-Kickback Statute & Whistle-blower Lawsuits
Originally enacted in 1972, he Federal Anti-Kickback statute provides both a civil and criminal cause of action against companies when they exchange or offer to exchange anything of value in an effort to reward the referral of federal health care program business. The statute was enacted to protect patients and federal health care programs from and overwhelming trend of fraud and abuse. The vague wording of the statute allows it to affect a wide number of people and situations in almost all aspects of the health care industry. Its vagueness can, in some situations, create a constitutional problem, but the legislature has worked in past years to amend the statute in order to address these concerns. Since the statute was enacted, it has been amended several times in order to provide certain safe harbor provisions, which protect certain actions that historically haven’t been considered a crime. In addition, the courts have determined that any action not included in the safe harbor provisions isn’t automatically a violation of the law, but instead each case is scrutinized on a case-by-case basis. Most violations of the anti-kickback statute aren’t brought to light trough government investigation, but instead they are brought to light by employees of companies who realize that their employer is breaking the law. These employees, or whistleblowers as the law calls them, are protected by statute from retaliation by their employer and are often times entitles to some of the money the government recovers from the suit should the suit be successful.
Employers are likely to react in a retaliatory way when an employee whistleblower exposes a kickback system because the penalties the company faces are severe. Not only does the statute provide a civil remedy, criminal convictions can result for both parties involved. A single violation of the statute can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, convictions under the statute result in exclusion from participation in any federal health care program. Further, the possibility of civil remedies also presents a concern for companies as each violation of the statute, or each bribe that occurs, can result in a fine of up to $50,000 in addition to twice the amount of each kickback.
For whistleblowers, the thought of exposing a company’s wrongdoing through the anti-kickback legislation is often times terrifying because of how the company could react. Whistleblowers need not be so concerned, though, because their actions are protected by both federal and state law. This means that whistleblowers have legal protection from any firing, demoting, or harassing that their company might do in response to their actions exposing the company to liability. Not only do whistleblowers have protection from retaliatory action, but in some cases they can recover some of the money issued to the government as part of the judgment. In cases where an employee brings to light illegal kickback practices within their company, the employee can choose to pursue a lawsuit even if the government chooses not to. In those cases, the whistleblower employee can recover a percentage of the monetary damages issued in the judgment as well as attorney’s fees.
If you have information regarding a violation of the anti-kickback statute and wish to speak with a MA Whistle-blower lawyer, please Contact the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP to set up a free-of-charge initial consultation. Our anti-kickback attorneys are available to speak with you by phone or email around the clock, including nights and weekends.