Florida False Claims Act Lawyer
The Florida False Claims Act is one of the main ways that workers in healthcare, education and other industries can blow the whistle on unlawful conduct that they observe or are asked to participate in during the course of their employment. This state law is patterned after the federal False Claims Act and applies specifically to claims of fraud perpetrated on Florida government agencies.
Guttman, Freidin & Celler is a Florida-based whistleblower law firm handling a wide array of whistleblower claims related to fraud against the government. If you have information related to healthcare fraud, education fraud, or fraud involving government contracts with the state of Florida or a county or municipality, call our Florida False Claims Act lawyers in Miami for a confidential case review. We can help you blow the whistle on fraud and see that you are amply rewarded for your courage and efforts.
Overview of the Florida False Claims Act
The Florida False Claims Act creates civil liability for any person who commits or conspires to commit certain acts, including:
- knowingly presenting or causing to be presented a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval
- knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or using a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim
- knowingly delivering or causing to be delivered less than all the money or property in the person’s possession, custody or control that is to be used by the state
- knowingly making or delivering a document certifying receipt of property used or to be used by the state with the intent to defraud the state
Liability under the act includes a civil penalty between $5,500 and $11,000 plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the state due to the fraud.
Once a claim is made, it is up to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs to diligently investigate the claim and make a finding whether the person has violated or is violating the law. The Department of Legal Affairs or the Department of Financial Services has the authority to bring a civil action against the person if it so chooses.
Typically, the civil action is first brought by a private individual alleging the Florida False Claims Act violation. This type of action is known as a qui tam action, meaning it is being undertaken by a private person on behalf of the government. The government can choose to intervene and take over the case or allow the individual to proceed. If proceeding as an individual, the attorneys at Guttman, Freidin & Celler can provide strong and effective representation based on decades of combined experience representing Florida whistleblowers.
If the case is pursued by the Florida government agency, the person who initially brought the action will receive between 15 and 25% of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim. If the case is pursued by the individual, that person will receive between 25 and 30% of the proceeds, plus attorney fees and costs and other expenses.
Even if the person relating the information to the government based their information on other sources, such as a government report, legal proceeding, or news media report, the court can still award the person up to ten percent of the proceeds as a reward for bringing the action and advancing the case to litigation. Even a person who planned and initiated the fraud can receive a reduced share of the proceeds for blowing the whistle, so long as they were not convicted of criminal conduct arising from their role in the Florida False Claims Act violation.
Our Florida Whistleblower Attorneys Can Help With Your False Claims Act Case
If you have discovered false claims submitted to any employee, officer or agent of the state of Florida or a Florida government contractor, the Florida whistleblower attorneys at Guttman, Freidin & Celler can help you initiate an action under the state’s False Claims Act. Whether the government takes over the case or we represent you on the state’s behalf, you can receive a sizable portion of any settlement or judgment for your efforts. Call 800-654-8281 or contact us online to talk to a lawyer today and receive a confidential review of your case.