US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins Hosts Panel of Lawyer Whistleblowers | USAO-MA
BOSTON — Earlier this month, U.S. attorney Rachael S. Rollins hosted a panel discussion on who tam lawsuits, also known as whistleblower cases. The event highlighted US Attorney Rollins’ commitment to holding those who defraud the government and its taxpayers accountable through civil actions under the False Claims Act and criminal prosecutions.
The panel, which was made up of Bureau leaders, including the head and deputy head of Rollins’ Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit and the head of Rollins’ Criminal Healthcare Fraud Unit, said presented to an audience of several dozen lawyers representing whistleblowers. The event was moderated by a representative from Taxpayers Against Fraud, a public interest nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing whistleblower litigation.
“Protecting our tax dollars and the public from fraud is vital to our healthcare, financial and defense contracting systems, but also to the well-being of our democracy. Left unchecked, fraud and corruption are corrosive to public trust in our government,” U.S. Attorney Rollins said. “Every law enforcement action my office brings demonstrates our commitment to seeking justice and deterring future wrongdoing. By meeting with stakeholders, we learn about trends and can hear their concerns about the office. Being accessible and transparent will result in more relationships coming to our office and exposing fraud and corruption.
The District of Massachusetts has long been a national leader in prosecuting health care fraud and collects recoveries in the tens to hundreds of millions each year. So far in 2022, civil recoveries under the False Claims Act for cases in the District of Massachusetts exceed $250 million for violations such as illegal bribes, underpayment of reimbursements of Medicaid, failure to license ownership and supervision of mental health personnel, billing for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and physician self-referrals (also known as Stark Law violations). Civil False Claims Act work in the District of Massachusetts also includes government defense contract fraud, grant fraud, customs fraud, and financial institution fraud.
In addition, the United States Attorney’s Office is pursuing criminal charges involving misrepresentation, unlawful bribery, health care program fraud, privacy breaches, and wire fraud. In recent years, the Bureau has prosecuted both companies and individuals who conspired to defraud federal health insurance programs, evaded federal drug safety regulations, marketed defective and medically unnecessary medical devices, and exploited vulnerable people by prioritizing profits over patient care.
Under the False Claims Act, individuals can sue on behalf of the government against businesses and individuals who defraud the federal government. If recoveries are paid by defendants in these who tam legal proceedings, the private citizen (or “relative”) receives a portion of these funds. Many fraud investigations and prosecutions originate who tam deposits.