Behn & Wyetner, Chtd. co-founder and whistleblower lawyer Michael I. Behn recently spoke at the annual training conference for the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU). The NAMFCU brings state prosecutors and investigators together from throughout the country to coordinate efforts to investigate and prosecute fraud in the Medicaid program. Medicaid provides healthcare to persons most in need and is funded by the states and federal government. Behn shared his experience effectively prosecuting Medicaid fraud by teaming whistleblowers and their attorneys with state prosecutors.
Behn spoke at the “Roundtable with Whistleblower’s Counsel,” which was moderated by Nick Paul, Supervising Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice. Other whistleblower attorneys on the panel were Jeb White, President of Taxpayers Against Fraud, and Jennifer Verkamp, of Morgan Verkamp LLC.
For over 40 years, NAMFCU has played a pivotal role in coordinating nationwide efforts of the federally certified Medicaid fraud control units. “The states have demonstrated powerful leadership in prosecuting Medicaid fraud under state False Claims Acts,” said Behn, a former federal prosecutor in New York. “State Attorneys General have created a potent force to combat Medicaid fraud by leading investigations with their federal colleagues, whistleblowers and whistleblowers’ lawyers to protect taxpayers from liars, cheats and thieves.”
Behn highlighted the key role that whistleblowers play in uncovering Medicaid fraud by bringing cases under the “qui tam” provisions of state and federal False Claims Acts. These qui tam provisions encourage private citizens with knowledge of wrongdoing to help the government prosecute Medicaid fraud, procurement fraud and other frauds against taxpayers. False Claims Acts allow the government to collect up to three times the amount defrauded, in addition to civil penalties. Behn noted that whistleblowers, known as “qui tam relators,” can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the governments’ recovery.
More information on the NAMFCU meeting is available here.