About the False Claims Act (FCA)

Our Whistleblower and False Claims Act Experience

The False Claims Act (FCA), also known as the “Lincoln Law,” is a federal statute enacted in 1863 that enables a private citizen with knowledge of fraud committed against the federal government (often described as a “whistleblower”) to file a lawsuit seeking treble damages and penalties on behalf of the government.  Many states and municipalities have promulgated their own similar laws designed to combat fraud against state and local governments.  In successful prosecutions, the FCA, and its state and local law equivalents, generally allow the whistleblower to obtain a substantial monetary award, ranging between 15% and 30% of the total case recovery.  In 2012 alone, it is estimated that federal and state whistleblower claims resulted in more than $9 billion in recoveries.

Clifford Chanler, the founder of The Chanler Group, in association with Michael Hirst, founder of Hirst Law Group, P.C., have successfully represented whistleblower clients in state and federal false claims cases involving a wide range of frauds against the government.  The attorneys have been instrumental in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in False Claims Act prosecutions, including cases involving health care fraud, contract fraud, and virtually every other kind of FCA case.  Notably, Mr. Hirst, a former federal prosecutor and supervising prosecutor of FCA cases for 15 years, was the lead attorney in the FCA case against Redding Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare, Inc., which resulted in a record-setting $62.55 million recovery, the largest  against a single hospital in US history.

Moreover, The Chanler Group and Hirst Law Group’s staff of experienced full-time investigators and auditors provides clients with a valuable resource that sets us apart from other firms.  Our investigators and paraprofessionals have a broad background in civil fraud investigation and trial preparation including undercover investigation, coordination with experts, preparing court presentations and exhibits, and testifying at trial.  Our collective experience and extensive resources, including health care fraud auditing expertise from an auditor who worked for over 25 years at the Department of Health and Human Services, and another 5 years at the U.S. Attorney’s office, allow us to provide our clients with unparalleled litigation expertise and support, as well as the ability to vigorously represent our clients and their interests.

Contact Us for a Confidential Consultation

At no cost to you, we will evaluate your potential FCA claims.  If you have information regarding fraud against the federal government or state governments, please contact us by submitting a completed Whistleblower Questionnaire or contact Hirst Law Group, P.C. directly by telephone at (530) 756-7700.

Representative False Claims Act and Whistleblower Actions

  • Kellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton subsidiary) - action based on a whistleblower's information that the firm defrauded the Department of Defense in its construction practices at Fort Ord, which resulted in a multimillion dollar recovery against the company.
  • Tenet Healthcare, Inc. – action based on a whistleblower's information that the company defrauded the Medicare program by performing unnecessary heart surgeries at Redding Medical Center.  The multimillion-dollar recovery against the company is the largest in a medical necessity fraud case and also the largest recovery against a single hospital in Department of Justice history.  The case is the subject of a book, Coronary (Simon and Schuster, 2007) by New York Times journalist and author Steven Klaidman.
  • Rain and Hail Insurance Services, Inc. – action based on allegations that the company falsified documents and inflated claims in administering an agricultural insurance program.  The multimillion-dollar recovery against the company was the largest in the history of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
  • Hughes Electronics Corporation – action for defrauding the United States under a Department of Defense contract, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar recovery against the company.
  • Regents of the University of California (UC) – action based on submission of false and duplicative claims, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar recovery against UC.
  • Horizon West, Inc. – action for fraudulent billings in its operation and management of nursing homes, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar recovery against the company.
  • OrthoLogic Corp. – action for fraudulently selling medical devices not approved by the FDA, which resulted in a million-dollar recovery against the company.
  • River Garden Farms – action against company and its farm manager for defrauding the United States in an agricultural subsidy program, which resulted in a settlement of several hundred thousand dollars.

In addition to the significant recoveries above, The Chanler Group has engaged in a wide variety of matters under state and federal false claims acts:

  • Fraud claims brought on behalf of the federal government by a former sales manager against suppliers of medical equipment and supplies who made false representations and certifications in connection with awards of government contracts.
  • Fraud claims brought on behalf of the federal government by former employee physician against medical doctor who billed Medicare for treatments that were not medically reasonable or necessary and fraudulently miscoded procedures for reimbursement.
  • Fraud claims brought on behalf of federal government against manufacturers, distributors, and vendors of harmful and defective decorative glassware, ceramicware and other consumer products that contained toxic quantities of lead that were hidden from the government which purchased tens of thousands of items. The Smithsonian Institution removed most, if not all, of the unlawful products from its museums nationwide. 
  • Fraud claims brought on behalf of the federal government and the State of California by former employee of a medical practice against medical service providers that knowingly and intentionally submitted false and fraudulent claims through Medicare, California Medicaid and other government programs.
  • Fraud claims brought by employees on behalf of the federal government against companies who obtained government contracts by, among other things, fraudulently certifying that they met various requirements with respect to work performed by persons with disabilities, misrepresenting its labor rates, and submitting false bills to the government.

The Chanler Group has successfully prosecuted more whistleblower cases, under the FCA and other whistleblower statutes, than any other law firm in the United States.  Through its unparalleled investigative staff, which is likely among the largest and most qualified of any private law firm in the country, The Chanler Group is able to provide its clients with exceptional representation in whistleblower claims.