False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is the primary vehicle used by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to confront persons or companies that defraud government programs. Since 2008, the federal FCA has recovered more than $13 billion in fines from companies that have knowingly presented a false claim or false demand to the federal government.

If you are a government contractor, receive payments from the federal government, or operate a government program, you have exposure to federal FCA liability. For companies accused of violating the False Claims Act, the stakes can be enormous. Consequences can include monetary penalties, exclusion from government programs, and criminal prosecution. In addition to the federal FCA, most states have their own FCAs, which differ from the federal FCA in significant ways, while also having their own fines and penalties. 

Venable has a proven record of success helping clients prevent FCA violations, avoid prosecution, and reduce fines and penalties should they arise. Our FCA team consists of highly experienced attorneys who have spent years defending against federal and state FCA prosecutions, dealing with whistleblowers, and counseling companies on compliance. Our attorneys have significant government experience and first-hand knowledge of how federal and state enforcement agencies make enforcement decisions.

Venable is committed to providing all clients with exceptional client service. We work effectively with clients' in-house audit and compliance personnel when there is a need to promptly review pertinent documents or interview personnel to determine if violations have occurred.

Practice Focus

  • Anti-money laundering
  • Antitrust – criminal
  • Compliance and internal controls
  • Congressional investigations
  • Consumer fraud
  • Environmental crimes
  • False Claims Act
  • Federal government agency investigations
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Government contracts and procurement fraud
  • Grand jury investigations
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical enforcement
  • Internal corporate investigations
  • Public corruption
  • Securities enforcement and compliance
  • State attorney general investigations
  • Tax fraud 
  • Trials and appeals

Government Experience
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More than 30 attorneys, including attorneys who formerly served as:

  • Assistant U.S. attorneys and Justice Department trial attorneys
  • Officials of the SEC's Division of Enforcement
  • Officials of the FDIC and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Assistant United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice, District of Maryland

Experience
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  • Settled a False Claims Act investigation into a Defense Department contract on favorable terms on behalf of a logistics company. The original demand by the government and the qui tam relators was in excess of $1 billion. Under terms of the settlement, the False Claims Act allegations against the companies have been dismissed with prejudice, waived, and released, and the negotiated final settlement was $13 million, of which client paid $10 million and a co-defendant paid $3 million
  • Represented a large generic drug manufacturer based overseas, with a U.S. manufacturing and market presence, in wide-ranging criminal and civil investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, coupled with administrative enforcement actions by the Food and Drug Administration. Among the issues involved in the case, the FDA issued warning letters and an Import Alert for the company's foreign facilities, and invoked the Application Integrity Policy as to one of the foreign facilities, based on cGMP and data integrity concerns. The company resolved this highly complex and multifaceted investigation by pleading guilty to a criminal information, entering a companion civil False Claims Act settlement, and paying a total of $500 million to settle the matter. The company also entered a separate consent decree with FDA, negotiated by regulatory counsel from another firm with Venable participation
  • Represented an individual pharmaceutical company executive in an investigation of off-label marketing and anti-kickback violations by FDA and USDOJ pursuant to a qui tam False Claims Act whistleblower action. Client was ultimately deemed to be a witness in the matter
  • Represented a nonprofit organization in a False Claims Act investigation by USDOJ, sparked by a whistleblower complaint of misuse of government grant funds. USDOJ ultimately declined to enter the FCA case, and the complaint was dismissed as part of a broader settlement with whistleblower
  • Represented a security services contractor in a coordinated, multijurisdictional civil False Claims Act matter. The case settled for less than 25 cents on the dollar. As part of the agreement, DOJ agreed to accept less than double the damages. Venable avoided filing any responsive pleadings or participating in discovery, which saved the client substantial sums of money
  • Represented a government contractor in several sensitive internal investigations of potential contract noncompliance to help ascertain whether any False Claims Act or other violations were implicated
  • Represented a services contractor alleged to have utilized employees who did not satisfy labor qualifications required by contract
  • Persuaded the Justice Department not to intervene in a qui tam FCA suit accusing a nonprofit organization of falsely certifying contractor's eligibility to secure awards under a set-aside program and subsequently prevailed on motion to dismiss relator's claims
  • Persuaded the Justice Department not to intervene in a qui tam FCA suit alleging that a construction contractor submitted inflated invoices to the air force, prompting relator to dismiss the case
  • Represented a company under parallel criminal and civil investigations for purportedly violating the False Claims Act by submitting inflated invoices to the government
  • Conducted multiple internal investigations on behalf of contractors involving false claims, theft, data misappropriation, and misuse of source selection information
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of a leading insurer of False Claims Act claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina

Recognition
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  • U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year" in Criminal Law: White-Collar Litigation, 2013
  • Ranked in U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms," 2012 – 2017
    • Tier 1 Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Baltimore; DC)
  • Five attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers in America