Tag Archive for: qui tam

Kitzer Rochel Is a Voice for Whistleblowers Reporting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Other COVID-19 Funding Fraud

Our firm knows that some recipients of PPP funding, or other CARES Act funding, have not complied with the law. These companies are abusing taxpayer dollars and harming small businesses that really need the limited funding. And they are breaking the law. 

Federal laws prohibit retaliation against workers, employees, executives or anyone else who blows the whistle on employers who defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) run by the Small Business Administration (SBA). And some statutes offer monetary rewards for turning in wrongdoers.

For example, under the False Claims Act (FCA), the government may reward a PPP whistleblower with up to 30 percent of the recovered funds.

  • Are you concerned about possible fraud regarding the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
  • Are you an executive or employee of a company that misrepresented payroll numbers in order to get a PPP loan?
  • Do you have information that your employer has misused an SBA loan or PPP funds? This could include spending more than 40 percent of a PPP loan on non-payroll expenses, or other examples.
  • Do you have information or concerns about other, similar practices?
  • Have you been warned to stay quiet about such fraudulent practices?

If you’ve witnessed PPP fraud and want to speak up, there are laws that may protect and even reward you. Contact Kitzer Rochel today to learn more.

Whistleblowers Reveal Widespread Fraud at Large Twin Cities Mental Health Agency

Several whistleblowers have brought to light allegations of widespread fraud by Complementary Support Services (CSS). According to allegations from federal and state prosecutors, the mental healthcare provider defrauded Minnesota’s Medicaid program for millions of dollars and provided inadequate supervision of unlicensed practitioners. The state and federal prosecutors filed suit against CSS in November of 2015.

Several employees have come forward to blow the whistle and publicly report the fraud as well as retaliation and alleged blackmail of CSS employees. According to Naomi Davis, CSS threatened to withhold her paycheck if she did not agree to file false reports. Such claims could give rise to employment retaliation and whistleblower claims.

In addition, a qui tam, or False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit was filed in 2013 against CSS, and both the United States and Minnesota governments have joined the suit. The lawsuit was initially filed under seal, as required by state and federal law, and was recently made public by the Court. The whistleblower lawsuit was filed by William Schwandt as a relator on behalf of both the United States and Minnesota.

These whistleblowers highlight the need for individuals to report government fraud, waste and abuse, and the important role that whistleblower reward laws–or qui tam laws, as they are sometimes called–play in stopping and correcting fraud in our community. There are robust laws that reward individuals who report fraud and even allow such individuals to file lawsuits on behalf of the government in order to recover the improperly-obtained money. In addition, there are many laws that protect employees who act as whistleblowers, preventing them from being retaliated against or fired for reporting or refusing to engage in fraud or other illegal conduct. In addition, some laws allow individuals to file confidential complaints in order to protect them from their employer or others of learning their identity.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel has a proven track record of representing whistleblowers. If you have questions or feel that you may be aware of government fraud, contact us today for a free consultation.