Whistleblower – Qui Tam – False Claims Act Cases

The law firm of Sheller, P.C. maintains an active whistleblower qui tam False Claims Act practice.  Sheller, P.C. attorneys have been the first to bring action against some of the most significant qui tam actions in the last several years. Not all cases are made public; successful whistleblower cases filed by Sheller, P.C. attorneys are often covered by the press, but other victories are kept under seal or are resolved confidentially.

What are the types of whistleblower qui tam, False Claims Act and fraud cases that Sheller P.C. investigates? 

  • Defense Contractor/Procurementmetal Whistle
  • General Services Administration
  • Government Grant and Research
  • Fraud (Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act)
  • Financial Industry (TARP, Mortgage)
  • Tax (Corporate Tax, Abusive Tax Shelters)
  • Healthcare (billing, services rendered, long term care/hospice and other)
  • Pharmaceutical

What are some of national Sheller whistleblower cases?

Since 2009, Sheller attorneys have represented multiple whistleblowers in some of the largest pharmaceutical False Claims Act qui tam cases in history, three of them in the top ten in the U.S.:

  • $1.4 billion settlement and criminal fines: U.S. v. Eli Lilly & Company
  • $2.3 billion settlement and criminal fines: U.S. v. Pfizer
  • $520 million settlement and largest civil in history, U.S. v. Astra Zeneca
  • $2.2 billion settlement U.S. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson & Johnson)
  • $58.9 million settlement U.S. v. Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • TOTAL: over $6.4 billion recovered for the U.S. government and taxpayers

“I applaud the courage of these whistleblowers. They came forth at personal and professional risk to protect the American people and expose corporate fraud” 

– Stephen Sheller in national press following the Lilly and Pfizer matters.

Sheller, P.C. has recovered over $6.4 billion for the U.S. Government working in concert with the Department of Justice through the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Philadelphia and Boston.  For “doing the right thing,” the whistleblowers received a portion of a settlement.

Several additional cases throughout the country are ongoing.

The unique expertise of the qui tam/False Claims Act attorneys at Sheller, P.C.

Stephen Sheller is the visionary of Sheller, P.C., a firm with national focus. Sheller believes that each case, each whistleblower, deserves the attention of the firm’s experts and resources from first contact to during and after the process. With four decades of civil litigation successes including battles against pharmaceutical, automotive and other corporate giants, Sheller is well-attuned to the winning strategy and negotiation required to bring justice for consumers. One of his most storied victories entails hundreds of millions of dollars in tobacco litigation, involving the “lite tobacco” cases. Sheller was deemed by the press and his colleagues “the Leader of the ‘Lite’ Brigade” for his acumen in the complex litigation.

“Whistleblowers know that they can trust us. That’s one reason we’ve helped recoup $6.4 billion for the government in just a few years. From our standpoint this is the work firms should be doing. And we’re not finished yet.” – Stephen Sheller

Other attorneys at Sheller, P.C. bring their unique experience in the pursuit of whistleblower/qui tam cases, including expertise in the latest, cutting-edge use of technology and national-scale investigation and litigation.

Sheller, P.C. whistleblower settlements have been covered by national media including CBS, NPR, Fox, Forbes, NPR, MarketWatch, National Business Journals across U.S., newspapers The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Toronto Star, legal publications The National Law Journal, The Legal Intelligencer, JD Journal, pharma sites Cafe Pharma, Fierce Pharma, PharmaGossip, Biotech Finances, Therapeutics Daily and more.

What is Whistleblower/qui tam?

The term “qui tam” comes from a Latin phrase that means “he who brings an action for the king as well as himself.” An employee or affiliate that witnesses illegal action or wrongdoing that harms or defrauds chooses to step forward, often at personal and financial peril, to expose a corporation, government or other entity in the name of justice. In the case of pharmaceutical companies, the recent cases have entailed active illegal marketing of drugs off-label or falsely as superior to others despite evidence to the contrary, or uses various forms of influence to secure business at an inflated profit thereby defrauding government health programs.

When a whistleblower chooses to step forward, he or she may be ostracized, fired, or worse. Whistleblowers deserve the representation Sheller, P.C. provides that will protect their livelihood, their families and their peace of mind during and after the process.

Whistleblower/qui tam and the U.S. Government

Basically, qui tam affords a private citizen the right to come forward and file a lawsuit on behalf of the government in an effort to recover losses caused by fraud against the government. This law is meant to persuade and protect individuals to come forward when they become aware of fraudulent activities or false claims being committed against the government and thereby stealing from taxpayers.

Directed to the conscientious employee or representative who has been a witness to, and maybe a victim of institutional corruption that defrauds the government, the Sheller firm has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of those individuals who step forward.

What is The False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act states that whistleblowers be rewarded with a percentage of the money that the government recovers as a result of their qui tam lawsuits. This provision helps encourage people to assist the government in reducing Medicare fraud; defense fraud and other kinds of fraud despite the effect whistle-blowing might have on their jobs and personal lives.

Under the False Claims Act the government may recover up to three times the amount of money it lost as a result of the defendant’s fraud. The whistle-blower’s share is calculated based upon the amount the government recovers, not the actual losses.  The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers who file qui tam lawsuits from being fired, demoted and harassed by their employer.

A number of factors determine how much money a whistle-blower will receive if the government is able to recover money from the defendant. If the government joins the case, the whistle-blower could be entitled to at least 15 percent but not more than 25 percent of what the government recovers.

If the government declines to join the case and the whistle-blower continues with a suit against the defendant, the whistle-blower could be entitled to at least 25 percent but not more than 30 percent of the money the government recovers.

Sheller, P.C. is actively investigating new and existing whistleblower/qui tam claims.

If you have a possible whistleblower action or think you might be eligible to join one in progress, contact Sheller, P.C. immediately to learn your rights and protect you and your family personally, professionally, and financially.

No case is too small to consider as some that seem smaller have much larger implications for justice being served for consumers and the government. Contact us for a confidential consultation, (800) 883-2299 or fill out the inquiry form on this page.

Related information

AstraZeneca Settlement: U.S. Department of Justice/OIG Press Release

Astra Zeneca Settlement: U.S. AG Holder’s Statement

Pfizer Settlement: U.S. Department of Justice/F.B.I. Press Release

Lilly Settlement: U.S. Department of Justice/F.B.I. Court Documents

Discussion of Pfizer qui tam case, quoting Stephen Sheller: “Rx Compliance Report” September 2009