• Posts by Sarvenaz ("Nazy") J. Fahimi
    Partner

    Sarvenaz ("Nazy") Fahimi is a partner practicing in several areas of litigation, with a focus on high profile cases of fraud, cases involving the Federal and California False Claims Acts, and representing businesses in commercial ...

Taxpayer money is ubiquitous. Unfortunately, where money goes, unscrupulous people follow, and will take advantage of the system to unfairly profit at their nation’s ultimate expense. Fortunately, right-minded humans also exist–who call out these wrongdoers. Also fortunately, whistleblower rewards are available to help battle those trying to game the system and steal tax dollars.

How to be a whistleblower? The primary law used to assist those blowing the whistle on bad behavior is the federal False Claims Act. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they ...

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Relators Can Seek Reduced Statutory Penalties Under the False Claims Act

As explained in our prior posts, statutory penalties under the False Claims Act can reach extraordinary levels. Generally, however, they will not violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. However, in order to avoid raising concerns about the Eighth Amendment, Relators (aka "Qui Tam Plaintiffs") may elect to seek an amount below the minimum statutory penalty. This type of volunatery reduction is referred to in legal terms as a "remittitur." As explained by the Fourth Circuit, relators are free to eschew the bounds of the FCA’s statutory ...

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The Constitutionality of Statutory Penalties Under the False Claims Act

Several circuits have addressed the issue of whether statutory penalties under the False Claims Act implicate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Those courts have held that FCA statutory penalties can potentially violate the Excessive Fines Clause, but have uniformly upheld such awards, even when dramatically in excess of the single damages award.

Most recently, in December 2021, the Eleventh Circuit upheld a healthcare fraud judgment under the FCA of $1.179 million, stemming from only $755.54 in single damages, on 214 false claims submitted ...

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Taxpayer money is everywhere. And where there is money, there are people willing to cheat to get more than their fair share. Fortunately, there are also upstanding humans interested in calling out wrongdoers gaming the system and stealing tax dollars. Also fortunately, we have whistleblower rewards!

The primary law used to assist those blowing the whistle on bad behavior is the federal False Claims Act. The SEC also has a whistleblower program that has grown significantly over the past decade. The last year has brought a record number of whistleblower claims under the FCA and SEC ...

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