Friday, February 22, 2013

Feds join whistle-blower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong - CNN.com

The False Claims Act is a powerful tool. It allows individuals who have information concerning false statements made to the U.S. government to file a law suit on behalf of the United States when the false statements were made to secure some benefit from the government. The Justice Department then decides whether to take up the suit or to leave it to the private party to pursue. This applies in all sorts of interactions with the government. For example, there are often False Claims Act cases brought against doctors who over bill the federal government for Medicare patients. Whistle blowers also file these cases against government contractors. The False Claims Act can also be invoked where someone makes a false statement to the government to avoid some expense. The party bringing the suit (technically the  "relator" rather than the plaintiff) is initially anonymous and is entitled to a portion of the recovery, which can be substantial.

One place I have never seen a False Claims Act allegation is against a famous cyclist who may have made a false statement to the Postal Service to secure sponsorship. Kudos to the lawyer who made that connection.

Feds join whistle-blower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong - CNN.com

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