KLINE & SPECTER
A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
Having an attorney experienced with cases involving government agencies and major corporations can help citizens seeking to file whistleblower civil suits.
& Specter, P.C., with more than 30 highly experienced attorneys, a
number of whom have worked as government prosecutors and have won large
verdicts and settlements against corporations, can assist citizens
across the United States in whistleblower lawsuits filed on the government’s behalf.
Visit the main Kline & Specter website for more about the law firm, Our Lawyers and our Major Victories.
The firm represented a whistleblower in a New York tax fraud case that settled for $6.2 million in March 2014 in which the whistleblower was to receive a reward of more than $1.1 million. (See news release)
These attorneys can help average citizens navigate the complexities of the U.S. False Claims Act in getting their rightful rewards from actions in which their knowledge and information helped the government recover money from companies or individuals.
If you or someone you know has information of false or fraudulent claims filed with the government, you may qualify as a whistleblower and should contact a whistleblower attorney today.
It is essential to file whistleblower lawsuits as quickly as possible since the government applies a “first to file” rule, meaning that the first person who brings suit against an entity allegedly defrauding the government – and only the first person, no matter if that suit is the “best” or most detailed – is entitled to the government reward. (The rule is intended to prompt fast reporting of fraud.)
Kline & Specter currently represents clients in a number of qui tam False Claims Act cases filed under seal in courts around the country as well as clients with claims filed under the Internal Revenue Service’s whistleblower program. Our qui tam cases, both those in suit and those under investigation, involve a variety of fraud on federal government programs, including schemes by large health care companies and institutions to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. Our IRS whistleblower clients have reported tens of millions of dollars worth of tax fraud to the government.
For every IRS whistleblower claim, we consult with a former veteran IRS criminal agent in evaluating claims and reporting tax fraud to the government. With 30 years as an IRS agent, our consultant brings a wealth of knowledge not just to tax fraud cases but also experience in navigating the IRS bureaucracy to maximize the chance the government will act on our clients’ information. While many firms simply help complete the paperwork necessary to submit an IRS whistleblower claim, we bring our clients’ information directly to agents in the field and our consultant’s expertise uniquely qualifies us to assist the IRS in its investigations.
In a recent case involving Medicare fraud, Kline & Specter helped obtain an $800,000 settlement from an ambulance company which defrauded the U.S. government by billing for non-medically necessary transports. The law firm represented a clinical social worker who blew the whistle on the South Carolina ambulance company. She will get a $160,000 reward under the federal False Claims Act. (See the Department of Justice news release, news article)
Qui tam lawsuits have flourished in recent years as they allow private citizens to sue on behalf of the government even though the individual has suffered no personal harm. The U.S. government has reaped more than $20 billion from qui tam lawsuits since 1986, when the law was bolstered, and whistleblowers have collected an average of roughly 16 percent – in some cases as much as 30 percent – of government recoveries.
Among the more famous whistleblowers was John Kopchinski, a Pfizer sales representative who filed a qui tam suit in 2003 against the company’s promotion of the painkiller Bextra and other drugs for unapproved uses and doses. Pfizer eventually paid billions in civil and criminal penalties and Kopchinski in 2009 got his reward -- $51.5 million.
Many whistleblowers have received rewards ranging from several thousand dollars to many millions. In 2008, for instance, hundreds of IRS cases were expected to bring rewards, including 228 related to cases of tax cheats owing at least $10 million each and 64 cases involving tax debts of more than $100 million.
Cases of fraud against the government come in many forms, with the lion’s share involving health care fraud by pharmaceutical companies, hospital corporations and clinical laboratories which bill the government, often through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, for drugs or services. Other notable whisteblower actions have involved defense procurements, tax fraud, underpayment of royalties (such as oil, minerals and gas from public lands), brokerage firm fraud, computer supplier fraud and construction cases.
Tom Kline and Shanin Specter, the firm’s founding partners, with hundreds of seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements between them, supervise all whistleblower cases litigated by the firm. Both have been named by various organizations as among the best attorneys in the nation.
Among the firm’s attorneys spearheading whistleblower cases is former federal prosecutor David J. Caputo, a partner in the firm and a Harvard Law School graduate, who had served
in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania with the Government, Environmental and
Health Care Fraud section. Caputo is admitted to practice in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the federal courts in both states, the
United States Tax Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit and Ninth Circuit. He is a member of Taxpayers Against Fraud,
the leading national organization of lawyers who represent
whistleblowers, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the
Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for
Also litigating qui tam cases is David C. Williams, a West Point graduate who was awarded the Army Commendation for Meritorious Service for duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom II; Capt. Williams later earned his law degree at the University of Pennsylvania. (Read his op-ed article in The Philadelphia Inquirer); Regan S. Safier, a University of Virginia School of Law graduate and a former Philadelphia assistant district attorney; Michael A. Trunk, who worked for one of the nation’s largest law firms before joining Kline & Specter and earned three degrees from Temple University, including his undergraduate with magna cum laude honors, his law degree, attaining the highest grade-point average in his graduating class, and a master’s of law in trial advocacy and Braden Lepisto, who previously worked in law offices in California and Washington. D.C. and is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Although most qui tam suits are federal, a number of states also have provisions for such legal actions. And 37 states have whistleblower laws providing various forms of protection for public and/or private citizens who help uncover fraud. (See a states listing)
If you have information or evidence about practices that are defrauding the government and you wish to come forward, click here to contact a whistleblower attorney.
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Kline & Specter handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. For cases outside those states, Kline & Specter works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.
Kline & Specter, P.C. only provides legal advice after having entered into an attorney client relationship, which our website specifically does not create. It is imperative that any action taken be done on advice of counsel. Because every case is different, the description of awards and cases previously handled do not guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases. The firm practices law in New Jersey as Kline & Specter. Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and other organizations that rate attorneys are not designations that have been approved by the State Supreme Courts or the American Bar Association.