Whistleblowers don't just sound the alarm on says Jeffrey F. Keller, San Francisco whistleblower lawyer.
San Francisco, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 28, 2014 / The False Claims Act enables the government to recover improperly paid funds and steer them back to helping veterans.
San Francisco, California - In recent months, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has seen no shortage of troubling headlines, with claims of substandard patient care and administrative malfeasance dominating the news. But another problem, which has received far less attention, threatens to divert much needed resources away from the veterans they are intended to help, and into the pocket of wrongdoers. The issue: fraud against the VA.
Fraud against government programs - from Medicare fraud and Medicaid to mortgage guarantees is not a new issue, but in recent years it has become an increasingly prevalent one. And fraud against the VA in particular has taken many forms. In February, JP Morgan Chase agreed to pay $614 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the financial giant knowingly underwrote mortgage loans that were not eligible for guarantees by the VA. In April, a Tennessee woman was sentenced to 2 years in prison after obtaining grants intended to pay for housing and transportation for homeless veterans and then pocketing much of the money. In May, the president of a New Jersey company admitted to fraudulently claiming her business was owned by a disabled veteran, winning some $1.2 million in VA contracts that the business was actually not eligible for. The list, unfortunately, goes on.
Yet even as fraud against the VA mounts, a powerful weapon to combat these improper acts and recover the funds has emerged: the whistleblower. These are individuals who have knowledge of a fraud or scam and sound the alarm. Under the U.S. False Claims Act the gold standard of whistleblower statutes they can bring suit against those they allege are defrauding the government, and share in any ultimate recovery. This was the case, for example, in the JP Morgan matter, where a whistleblower filed a suit that was subsequently joined by the government. That whistleblower will now receive a percentage of the $614 million settlement.
"Whistleblowers don't just sound the alarm on fraud, they help us recover funds that never should have been paid out," says Jeffrey F. Keller, a partner at the labor and employment law firm Keller Grover, and a veteran whistleblower lawyer. "In the case of the VA, these frauds are particularly troubling. They drain the VA's budget, which not only deprives those who have served of the benefits and resources they need and deserve, but leads to all the problems that are now making headlines, such as chronic understaffing and inadequate care at VA facilities. Whistleblowers - and the statutes that empower them - let us make good on our promise to serve those who have selflessly served us."
Since it was substantially modified in the mid-1980s, the False Claims Act has spurred the recovery of more than $34 billion that would otherwise have been lost to fraud. Meanwhile, its success has spurred the passage of similar legislation by many states, as well as whistleblower programs at agencies that include the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Whistleblowers are really our front line against fraud," says Keller, whose firm has offices in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. "And they are an extremely effective fighting force. Thanks to them, fraud is not only stopped in its tracks, but funds go to where they were intended to go and can do the most good."
To Learn more about Why you should contact a whistleblower lawyer bookmark http://www.reportgovfraudnow.com/
To Speak with Jeffrey F. Keller, a Whistleblower Lawyer visit http://www.kellergroverwhistleblowerlawyers.com/
Visit http://www.reportgovfraudnow.com/ for more information.
Name: Qamar Zaman
Organization: Keller Grover
Address: Keller Grover LLP - 1965 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
SOURCE: Keller Grover LLP