Experts in differentiating truth from lies
Laws with qui tam provisions like the False Claims Act provide powerful incentives for whistleblowers (also known as relators) to report waste, fraud, and abuse. These laws provide relators with a percentage of any award, should their cases be successfully prosecuted. However, sometimes people will misrepresent facts to attempt to secure a reward when in reality they just have an axe to grind against their employer. Relators’ counsel do not want to take cases without merit, as doing so wastes their resources and damages their credibility with the government attorneys who must decide which cases to prosecute. Our investigators have interviewed over hundreds of potential relators and have given their opinion about the validity of the claims based on the relators’ body language and on background investigations.
In one case, a man working at a hospice reported that, after his employer failed an internal audit, the owner directed employees to backfill names, signatures, and dates on copies of consent and notice of election forms before the forms were scanned into the company’s electronic medical records system. These documents are what allowed the company to bill Medicare for their services. If the relator’s claims were true, because the information contained on these documents had been largely forged, many of the company’s Medicare claims over at least the past five years were fraudulent and the company should not have been reimbursed for millions of dollars of hospice services.
Our investigators have interviewed over hundreds of potential relators and have given their opinion about the validity of the claims based on the relators’ body language and on background investigations.
The problem was that the potential relator did not have any proof of the fraud, so the case literally hinged on his credibility. We were engaged by his attorneys to see if the case actually had legs. We began by obtaining a release from the potential relator, allowing us to access his credit report and social media accounts, and then we did a forensic interview of him, asking him detailed questions about how he discovered the fraud, who else was involved, and about how documentary evidence of the fraud was subsequently altered or destroyed. We also explored possible motivations for him to make a false claim.
As his background check turned up nothing untoward and his behavior betrayed no deception or ulterior motives, we recommended that the law firm accept this case. They did so, and the case was later successfully prosecuted, resulting in a substantial award for the relator and his attorneys.