Enforcement of the False Claims Act (FCA), widely regarded as the most effective tool in combating fraud against the federal government, has risen significantly in recent years. Health care, mortgage, and government contract fraud continue to be the focus of FCA enforcement, but the government will pursue fraud, waste and abuse wherever it is found in federal programs. FCA investigations and lawsuits can cause reputational harm to government contractors having to fend off or defend against charges. Individual officers and employees, and in some cases board members, may face civil or criminal penalties. Collateral consequences may also include shareholder derivative litigation, claims by commercial insurance carriers, and parallel investigations by state Attorneys General.
Cadwalader’s White Collar Defense and Investigations group has represented companies, their executives, and other third parties in the defense of significant FCA investigations by the Department of Justice and various State Attorneys General. Several of these matters have involved individual whistleblowers who initiated these inquiries that were ultimately taken over by the government. In a number of instances, the group has represented these parties in civil litigation that followed either declinations of the criminal inquiries or settlements, as well as in parallel debarment actions initiated by government agencies.
The group possesses extensive expertise representing such clients in all stages of FCA matters, including in challenging and responding to Civil Investigative Demands, and in parallel administrative actions. This includes experienced and nationally recognized lawyers, several of whom are former federal prosecutors and senior officials of the Department of Justice who had led investigative teams in the government, seasoned trial lawyers with extensive jury trial experience, and subject-matter specialists from other leading practice groups in the firm, such as Health Care, Energy and Financial Services.