View Single Post
Old 21 October 2017, 10:46
cj's Avatar
cj cj is offline
Sub Rosa
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 1,355
Below is a little bit of insight I'll share because quite few folks on here are involved in contracting with the government. These comments are on the civil aspect of false claims and not the criminal.

I'm not familiar with the evidentiary details of this case, but I can assure you that if the government pursues a FCA case then they have the evidence necessary to win. In fact, very few FCA cases ever proceed to trial and there are multiple reasons: 1) the cases are essentially a win for the government because it's been thoroughly investigated by both relators counsel and the government, often involving years of investigation, 2) the damages are trebled, thus a verdict at trial can and is a question of financial survival, and 3) fear of exclusion from future government contracts, which amounts to the death penalty for most corporations.

Our firm declines to represent over 95% of potential relators for lack of sufficient evidence because ultimately we have to overcome the heightened 9(b) standard and the inevitable Motion to Dismiss. Once we do our due diligence investigation and even before we file the case under seal, we're required by law to meet with the government and to provide our evidence. The government has three options: 1) agree to intervene at that meeting, which is extraordinarily rare because they want to investigate first before making a decision, 2) decline to intervene at the meeting, which does happen for a variety of reasons, or 3) decide to postpone a decision so they can initiate their own investigation, which happens the most.

These cases remain under seal for a long time, often 5-6 years, while the government investigates. In fact, when we go to our first relators meeting its quite common to meet with multiple alphabet agencies due to the type of case and the corresponding and often overlapping jurisdictional authorities (i.e. FBI, HHS, DOD, SEC, IRS, USPS...etc). These agencies conduct extensive joint investigations often using CIDs and subpoenas. The targeted company (a.k.a. defendant) soon knows they're in the crosshairs and they typically do everything they can do to settle ASAP.

Finally, technically a settled case means there was no finding at trial, thus the company is free to deny wrongdoing, as they did in the above case. Furthermore, although they're subject to a CIA, it's far better than paying 7-10 digit monetary penalties and fees or being excluded from future government contracts which is a potential outcome at trial and thus a death sentence for a company like Triple Canopy.
"error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it." Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote