What is a False Claims Act violation within Research and Development?
False Claims Act (“FCA”) fraud occurs when companies that contract with the government for research and development projects commit violations. These violations may be related to grant money application falsification, submittal of claims for work rendered when it was not performed, or substandard research practices. The federal government grants billions of dollars through its National Institute of Health (“NIH”) program. The NIH is a research center and arm of the United States government and funds research programs and pilots related to bettering the healthcare of millions of Americans. Each year, the United States government grants around $150 billion to many organizations for research and development projects.
As part of receiving the government funds, organizations must comply with the terms and conditions of the grant. The agency that provides the grants also has specific guidelines that must be followed in how the research must be completed and evidence must be submitted. When grant recipients knowingly violate these terms and conditions, they may be guilty of FCA fraud. Some organizations have been found to give kickbacks or rig the bidding process. Others have been found to falsifying the data or final reports when submitting their results to the funding agency.
Our attorneys are also familiar with instances where organizations have misrepresented their studies or activities on the grant application or acted unethically. Sadly, it has become inevitable that with this large amount of money and projects that grant-funding recipient defraud the government at the expense of United States tax-payers.
If the government agency and the Department of Justice decline to intervene and allow the whistleblower to independently litigate the case, the relator whistleblower’s share is 20-25 percent of the government’s settlement or verdict (monetary recovery). If the government decides to intervene and litigate the case (which occurs approximately 20% of the time), the relator whistleblower’s share is decreased to 15-20 percent of the government’s settlement or verdict.
If you are aware of any possible False Claims Act violations as part of the research and development or grant funding that your company is involved with, you can call us at (877) 789-9707 for a free consultation or complete the online form on this site to request any information and speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our whistleblower lawyers guide you every step of the way to ensure maximum recovery. Our attorneys will also provide legal representation to any individual(s) who may suffer from corporate retaliation.