In 2006, health care entrepreneur and author Adam Resnick sued Omnicare Inc., a major supplier of prescription drugs to nursing homes. The suit, brought under the federal False Claims Act, alleged the company was involved in illegal kickback schemes that put nursing home profits ahead of patients’ medical care. Since then, Resnick has acquired several years of experience as a whistleblower, successfully exposing Medicare and Medicaid fraud and helping the U.S. government recover vital health care funds.
In an article written by Resnick for the Huffington Post, 10 tips were offered to anyone considering blowing the whistle on fraud and other wrongdoing. His advice includes getting an experienced lawyer who can help you make sure you have a good claim – a person who is open to answering tough questions and – who will look honestly at the factual truth of the situation. Resnick also advises potential whistleblowers to be prepared for the investigation to take a long time.
Resnick speaks from experience when he says whistleblowing can be the career equivalent of walking through a mine field. He emphasizes how important it is to contact a lawyer immediately who can navigate a potential whistleblower through the process. That lawyer will know what documents the person is allowed to take and which ones are under any type prohibition and can’t be taken. One wrong move could potentially destroy a very good case and also the person’s career.
For the above reasons, Resnick says finding a lawyer with experience handling whistleblower cases is very valuable. He advises potential whistleblowers to make sure the lawyer they select isn’t representing another person with a similar claim before divulging specific information. Resnick says to always hire a whistleblower lawyer who works on contingency fees, never on an hourly basis unless the case is an employment one. That’s very important because of the time and expense involved in investigating, preparing and trying a whistleblower case.
Also, potential whistleblowers should expect the lawyer selected to thoroughly question all of the allegations. This is a necessary measure in order to make sure that a solid case exists. If the allegations don’t convince an experienced lawyer, those allegations will not hold water with the federal government or a judge. Resnick emphasizes that the government needs solid evidence of fraud before a whistleblower claim under either the False Claims Act, the IRS, or the Securities and Exchange Commission can go forward. Some whistleblowers may think they can act on generalized tips and simply have their lawyers subpoena the evidence. But that’s not how it works.
Potential whistleblowers also should expect their case to take a fairly long time from start to finish. Many individuals who become whistleblowers are under the mistaken impression that companies will settle quickly to avoid trial and lots of bad press. “They never do,” says Resnick, so he warns not to expect a quick resolution to your case. Additionally, expect that the whistleblower will eventually be identified. While whistleblower cases are filed under seal, anonymity is never guaranteed. In fact, every whistleblower should expect to be outed eventually, even if precautions have been taken to mitigate that risk.
The above recommendations are just some of the advice Resnick offers. You can read his 10 Tips list at Huffington Post. Lawyers in the Consumer Fraud Section at Beasley Allen continue to investigate, file, and litigate whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act. The lawyers are also taking cases under state law in states that have whistleblower statutes. The Resnick article is an excellent summary of what all potential whistleblowers should do and expect if they elect to blow the whistle on corporate fraud or wrongdoing. The goal of Beasley Allen lawyers in whistleblower cases is not only to give a fighting chance to potential whistleblowers, but ultimately to win their cases.
We have several lawyers in the firm who have regularly handled qui tam claims. They will be glad to speak to potential whistleblowers under complete confidentiality at no charge to consider and evaluate their potential case. If you would like more information about a whistleblower case, call 800-898-2034 and ask for Chad Stewart (Chad.Stewart@beasleyallen.com), Larry Golston (Larry.Golston@BeasleyAllen.com), Lance Gould (Lance.Gould@BeasleyAllen.com), Archie Grubb (Archie.Grubb@BeasleyAllen.com), or Andrew Brashier (Andrew.Brashier@BeasleyAllen.com). Each of these lawyers is actively involved in ongoing whistleblower litigation.
Source: Huffington Post
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