Are you a government contractor facing small business fraud or other criminal allegations related to procurement?
Our team of False Claims Act Defense Lawyers is here to help you navigate the complex legal landscape of Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act compliance, as well as defend you against procurement fraud allegations.
With our experience and expertise, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with the utmost care and attention to detail. We understand the seriousness of these charges and will work tirelessly to protect your reputation and your business.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team of defense lawyers and take the first step in protecting your business and your future. Call us at 1.866.601.5518.
Watson & Associates, LLC offers experienced government contract attorneys and False Claims Act defense lawyers. We aggressively represent small businesses and large defense contractors in the United States and overseas. We Can Build a Solid Team of Qui Tam Defense Lawyers and False Claims Act Defense Attorneys That Understand Government Contracting. We Develop a Team to Represent You in Both Criminal and Civil Actions
The Federal False Claims Act (FCA) can be a nightmare for small businesses and large defense contractors. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Whistleblowers use the FCA as a weapon to target contractors who are doing business with the federal government and who allegedly have committed government fraud. Penalties for violating the FCA can be both criminal and civil.
Aggressive Legal Defense
Watson & Associates’ False Claims Act defense attorneys represent federal contractors and individuals facing qui tam actions or seeking defense counsel to push back against allegations. We represent contractors in cases involving Buy American Act fraud, Truth in Negotiation Act (TINA), and small business programs (HUBZone fraud, SDVOSB fraud, and SBA 8(a)BD fraud). We serve on a clients’ criminal defense team and aggressively fight back in Qui Tam Whistleblower cases.
Government contractors are often subject to False Claims Act (FCA) criminal and civil claims for knowingly submitting false claims to the government.
The FCA also allows private citizens (Relators)to file qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the federal government. When individuals are successful, they may receive a portion of the government’s recovery.
Getting charged with cases involving the Federal False Claims Act violation can prove extremely expensive to government contractors. When you’ve tried your best to comply with the regulations and SBA programs but still find your company facing OIG Investigations and Federal DOJ investigations, it can be an uphill battle.
Having your company in the headlines as being sued by a current or former employee for committing fraud against the federal government can be one of the most embarrassing experiences for any company. Whether there is truth to the allegation or you believe that you may have a disgruntled employee on your hands does not change the fact that the government may take an interest in the case. See Information on Grand Jury Indictments.
Not all federal IG and DOJ criminal charges are valid. We understand that. However, federal prosecutors do not have any problems pursuing your case whatsoever.
- Defense contractors may often find out that the larger firms and traditional defense attorneys are not always familiar with the underlying issues involved in procurement fraud cases.
- We help clients involved in False Claims Act cases and government investigations involving, SBA small business programs, Service Disabled Veteran Owned contracts, HUBZone Programs and limitations on subcontracting fraud cases
The accusation by the former employee often referred to as a “Whistleblower” or“Qui Tam relator“, will include allegations of major fraud against the federal government, contractor violation of the Buy American Act, or contractor fraud under one of the SBA’s small business program. In any event, having a federal False Claims Act whistleblower defense attorney that understands the procurement process and FAR regulations can be a tremendous benefit to your company. Having that ability to forcefully push back against federal prosecutors and investigators gives you a sound advantage throughout a federal criminal investigation and litigation process.
What is the False Claims Act? Definition and Meaning 31 USC 3729- 3733
Relevant to federal government contractors, subcontractors, etc., The False Claims Act (“FCA”) provides, in pertinent part, that: (a) Any person who
(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the United States Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;
(3) conspires to defraud the Government by getting a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;. . . or (7) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government, *** is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the act of that person . . . . (b) For purposes of this section, the terms “knowing” and “knowingly” mean that a person, with respect to information (1) has actual knowledge of the information; (2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or (3) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information, and no proof of specific intent to defraud is required. See 31 USC 3729. See information about three defenses for criminal liability for government contractors.
Our False Claims Act Defense Lawyers Only Represent Federal Government Contractors
Watson & Associates Qui Tam False Claims Act and Whistleblower Defense attorneys defend government contractors facing allegations of violating Buy American Act compliance regulations, submitting fraudulent invoices to the government; fraud in the SDVOSB small business program, or even falsely certifying to the federal government in order to obtain federal contracts. See information about false claims retaliation.
Federal False Claims and Qui Tam litigation is a tough business. What our law firm has found is that even large companies that hire local criminal defense attorneys find themselves paying hundreds of thousands or even millions in fines through settlement or litigation. The problem is that many of the location criminal lawyers do not fully understand federal procurement regulations or laws. As a result, the contractor cannot aggressively push back against federal investigators and prosecutors. This is where Watson &. Associates’ False Claims Act defense lawyers can help.
Trade Agreements Act compliance investigations: Oftentimes, manufacturers, suppliers and contractors sell products to the Government that may not comply with the US Trade Agreements Act and Substantial Transformation
At Watson Associates, our False Claims Act TAA Compliance lawyers represent large and small business facing investigations, criminal indictments and or convictions.
See 6 Things Contractors Should Be Aware of in Qui Tam Lawsuits & False Claims Act Lawsuits.
Watson defends companies in False Claims Act cases in various industry groups including pharmaceutical, manufacturing, engineering, health care (for government contractors and small businesses), construction, landscaping, IT companies, and more. Our team of attorneys includes former federal contracting employees and veterans that understand the procurement process.
Not knowing how to defend against them can cause serious injury to individuals and corporations. At Watson & Associates, LLC we form a team of criminal defense attorneys and government contract fraud lawyers that understand the issues and how to fight back. See the information about getting your federal indictment dismissed.
Federal False Claims Act Defense Contractor Attorney Services
The below categories almost always start with government investigations. Watson’s government investigation lawyers help individuals and corporations to prepare for and respond to the government’s allegations. We can build defense teams for:
- FCPA Anti-Corruption Act Defense
- International Contracting
- Buy American Act defense
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Procurement Fraud and Wire Fraud Government Defense
- Procurement Integrity Act disputes
- Contractor ethics policy and compliance in government acquisition
- Defense contractor fraud help for Dubai, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia government contractors
- Acting on your behalf with the agency. See information about Bidding on GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS Contracts)
- Billing disputes in Department of Defense procurement
- Defending against healthcare fraudulent allegations
- Matters pertaining to being suspended or debarred
- Cost accounting guidance & Services
- Limitation on government subcontracting
- Wire Fraud Contractor defense
- HUBZone Program matters.
- SBA 8(a) Program
- Construction fraudulent claims
- Defense Contracting types of fraud against the United States Government
- Defective Pricing
- Failure to comply with small business subcontracting plan requirements
- Civil Litigation
- PPP Loan Fraud Defense
Avoid Costly Legal Mistakes with the Criminal and Qui Tam defense cases, Call our Government Procurement Attorneys and Federal False Claims Act Defense Lawyers for a Free Initial Consultation. 1-866-601-5518.
Liability usually starts with the government investigation by employees who are business rivals. Understanding your rights when meeting with investigators and government law enforcement is critical. Getting the best federal criminal defense attorney on board should be done right away.
- Many federal contractors and individuals quickly find out that traditional criminal defense attorneys may not always be up to speed on federal procurement laws.
- Alleged violations of SBA and government small business programs can lead to prosecutors coming after millions and seeking jail time. This is where we form a solid team to fight back.
We Understand the Underlying Issues and Regulations in Most Criminal Cases and Government Investigations
To successfully get the best outcome for your case, you need an attorney that understands the underlying issues involved in criminal procurement cases. Whether the issues involve SBA small business programs, such as 8(a) and HUBZone, you want to be able to adequately defend against any allegations of wrongdoing.
When criminal charges include submitting false invoices, or making false statements or certifications, our False Claims Act defense attorneys can help.
PPP Loan Fraud Defense
PPP Loan fraud occurs when individuals or entities purposely misapply for a PPP loan, misrepresent the information on an application, or misappropriate the use of funds. It is important to be aware of this fraudulent activity because it can have serious implications for both lenders and borrowers alike.
For example, when a lender approves a loan based on false or inaccurate information provided by the borrower, they may face legal consequences if the borrower does not properly use the money as it was intended. Similarly, if a borrower claims a higher amount than what is allowed under the program guidelines in order to receive more funding than is actually needed, they could be subject to criminal charges. In addition, any misuse of funds from PPP loans can lead to stiff penalties, including civil and criminal liability.
False Claims Act Qui Tam Defense Lawyers Washington DC
With law offices in Washington, DC and in Denver, Colorado, the law firm of Watson & Associates, LLC provides high-level Federal False Claims Act defense attorneys for federal government contractors involved in whistleblower claims cases and procurement fraud cases. As government contract fraud attorneys, and Qui Tam defense lawyers, we understand that clients want to know their choices upfront and to develop a plan of action that leaves room for developing an effective legal defense.
- Develop a team that includes former federal attorneys and government contract attorneys.
- Whether you are a small business or a larger DOD government contract, we can develop a solid team to confront the government.
- Get help with False Claims Act defense and Qui Tam Action representation that includes SBA programs and small business issues.
When assessing the penalty for violating the False Claims Act, and without the proper legal advice, it is almost impossible to overcome the Department of Justice’s aggressive efforts to stop contractor allegations of defrauding the government. Getting help with subpoenas, duty of good faith and fair dealing and responding to the government’s request is essential to how a criminal case can end up. Find out about avoiding procurement fraud and criminal liability.
Government Contract Fraud and SBA Small Business Programs
When there are criminal charges or government contract investigations based upon QUI Tam alleged violations of government and SBA small business programs, federal prosecutors will almost always add charges for false claims when you have gained access to federal contracts.
Such allegations and criminal charges can include violations of the SBA 8(a) BD Program, criminal charges in the SBA HUBZone Program, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program (SDVOSB), or pass-through allegations. See also SDVOSB certification and bid protests.
Such cases require detailed knowledge about the FAR requirements and SBA procurement regulations. Without such legal expertise, your case might be in jeopardy. At Watson & Associates, our false claims defense lawyers can help. See information about SAM Registration.
False Claims Act & Buy American Act Compliance Representation
As a government contractor, you can face serious charges (civil and criminal) for violation of the Buy American Act. Not only are the investigations intrusive but the company’s reputation can be at risk. The Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies spend a substantial amount of time investigating False Claims Act cases involving Buy American Act fraud.
Having the right defense lawyers in place can save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the end. Our BAA attorneys help with:
- Subpoenas for documents
- Investigative demands for testimony
- Government Buy American Act investigations.
- OIG investigations
- Buy American Act Litigation
When looking at your day-to-day operations, you can be found in violation of the Buy American Act and the U.S. Trade Agreements Act, if the Government would not have purchased the goods from your company if it had known of the violations. As qui tam defense attorneys, we help with disputes about whether your company was a manufacturer, and whether the cost of your components was over the required percentage (50 0r 60%).
- If you are an overseas or US government contractor, we can help.
- We help small businesses and large government contractors.
- We help local companies and overseas manufacturers.
See More On Buy American Act Frequently Asked Questions
Develop a High-Level False Claims Act Defense Team
When federal contractors face criminal charges or suspension and debarment, we develop a defense team that includes former federal prosecutors and government contractor defense attorneys. We address the serious issues that can potentially cripple the company or end up with jail time. Keeping our clients involved in the process is critical. We have federal defense attorneys on board, government contract fraud lawyers that understand the substantive issues go False Claims and Buy American Act charges and a support staff that handles the necessary tools to get through the litigation process.
With law offices in Washington, DC and Colorado, our Whistleblower False Claims Act Defense Lawyers provides high-level legal services by assembling a team of experienced federal defense attorneys that understand the details of federal procurement law. We gear up to represent clients through the various steps in the process. See 31 USC 3729 –3733. law firm helps clients to:
- Defend against the Agency’s mere accusation of a scheme.
- Overcome Agency failure to meet the burden of proof.
- Avoid the pitfalls of using a FOIA request to prove your case.
- Renew your company’s reputation.
- Capture commonly overlooked contractor defenses to false claims charges.
- Properly defend your case if due to properly exercised business judgment
What are the legal elements of the False Claims Statute?
- Knowingly presenting (or causing to be presented) to the federal government a false or fraudulent claim for payment.
- Knowingly using (or causing to be used) a false record or statement to get a claim paid by the federal government.
- Conspiring with others to get a false or fraudulent claim paid by the federal government.
- Knowingly using (or causing to be used) a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay money or transmit property to the federal government.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations for Filing a False Claims Act Whistleblower (FCA) / Qui Tam Lawsuit?
- Under the FCA, an action must be filed within the latter of the following two time periods:
Six years from the date of the violation of the Act; or
Three years after the government knows or should have known.
Who Can Bring a False Claims Act Case Against Government Contractors?
In addition to its applicable provisions, the False Claims Act allows any private parties, employees, other contractors to may bring Qui Tam action on behalf of the United States. See 31 U.S.C. 3730 (b). The Plaintiff that brings the false claims case is called a “qui tam relator. This person or entity” may share in a percentage of the proceeds from an FCA action or government settlement. Under Section 3730(d)(1) with some exceptions, a qui tam relator, when the Federal Government has taken over the case (intervention), he or she can receive at least 15 percent, but not more than 25 percent of the proceeds recovered by the government.
False Claims Act Penalties
Violations under the federal False Claims Act can make you or your company liable and subject to significant penalties. Whether you have a healthcare business or are a government contractor, penalties can include paying three times the amount of the false claim(s), plus an additional penalty of $5,500.00 to $11,000.00 per claim.
If you are involved in healthcare, a violation of the FCA will be looked at as a felony punishable by imprisonment, or a fine of $50,000 or less, or both, for each violation. Any individual who receives a benefit, by reason of fraud; makes a fraudulent statement to the government; or knowingly conceals a material fact is liable to their particular state for a civil penalty equal to the full amount received plus triple damages. These are all issues that our government contract whistleblower defense attorneys can help with.
Additional Information for Contractors
- FCA Penalties
- False Claims Subcontractor Liabilities
- Internal Control Policy and Government Contractor Ethics
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Penalties
- Internal Corporate Investigations
- Service Disabled Veteran Fraud
- Additional information about debarment and suspension
Contact Our Qui Tam Defense and Federal False Claims Act Defense Lawyers
Qui Tam Defense Lawyers Washington DC. For help assessing the penalty for violating the Federal FCA, contact us or call our Washington DC False Claims Act defense lawyers and Buy American Act attorneys at 1-866-601-5518 or 202-827-9750 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.