Twenty Things Taxpayers Against Fraud and the
TAF Education Fund Are Doing for You

 

  1. Protecting the False Claims Act:  TAF guards the gates in Washington, watching for stealth lobbying campaigns and overt attacks on the False Claims Act from hospital associations, defense contractors, oil companies, banks, and pharmacy manufacturers.  Without TAF’s political expertise, lobbyists for corporate America would long ago have undermined the False Claims Act.

  2. Expanding the False Claims Act:  TAF is leading the movement for states to pass their own False Claims Act laws.  Since TAF’s successful campaign to include state FCA incentives as part of the Deficit Reduction Act, we have drafted a model state law and provided legislators with the information to explain the Act and to turn back weakening amendments.

  3. A Network of Communication:  TAFEF continues to be the principal connecting organization in the False Claims Act community, networking whistleblowers, dedicated False Claims Act lawyers, and government officials on policy issues.  When one side needs to talk to another, TAF is the forum through which this is accomplished.

  4. A Conference for the Relator’s Bar:  TAFEF’s annual conference educates the relator’s bar about new and emerging False Claims Act defenses and areas of emerging fraud, and provides for an exchange of practice tips and tactics.  Friendships and alliances forged at the TAFEF annual conference ensure that the FCA bar remains mutually supportive.

  5. Linking Whistleblowers and the Law TAFEF is often a “first stop” for whistleblowers looking to learn more about the False Claims Act and other incentivized whistleblower programs under the IRS, SEC and CFTC.  While TAFEF does not recommend or endorse attorneys, a directory of TAF Education Fund Members is available on our web site. 

  6. Files Amicus Curiae Briefs: TAFEF files amicus curiae briefs in cases of crucial significance to the qui tam bar.  For example, TAFEF’s brief was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Banks and Banaitis case in which FCA relators were exempted from a double taxation ruling, while other briefs have focused on public disclosure, the liability of public entities, the first to file bar, and implied certification.

  7. Maintains an Online Legal Data Base and Library:  TAFEF maintains an online legal database, “The Legal Zone.”  Hundreds of settlements, complaints and rulings are now accessible at the click of a button.

  8. Whistleblower Tax Relief:  In FY 2004, Taxpayers Against Fraud worked to assist Senator Charles Grassley to correct the unfair double taxation of False Claims Act and employment discrimination awards.  Passage of the Civil Rights Tax Relief provisions of the Jobs Act of 2004 ensures that relators and their attorneys will continue to be fairly compensated for the risks taken, and efforts made, when they expose fraud against the U.S. Government.  

  9. An Interface with Program Administrators:  TAFEF represents the False Claims Act bar when it needs to work with federal agencies to clarify rules, protect litigation tools, and strengthen communication between the private bar and government officials.   Thus, TAFEF worked to make sure Medicare and Medicaid continues to require health care providers to keep records for at least 7 years.  In addition, TAFEF worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to allow relators to amend their complaints after reviewing documents provided by Justice.

  10. Easy to Access Public Information:  TAF’s web site is updated several times a week and is packed with information on the False Claims Act, including statistics, state laws, and the latest news.  When government officials, reporters and prospective whistleblowers are looking for information on the False Claims Act, TAF’s web site is often their first stop and where the FCA story is best told.

  11. TAFEF Reports: Studies from the TAF Education Fund have detailed the spread of fraud schemes and the effectiveness of anti-fraud efforts.  For example, in the arena of health care fraud, TAFEF detailed how the U.S. Government is getting back more than $15 for every dollar it invests in False Claims Act health care investigations and prosecutions – and how some states, such as Texas, are doing even better.

  12. Initiating Legislative Solutions:  TAF gets the ball rolling on important legislation.  For example, TAF testimony initiated legislation on the idea of requiring significant Medicaid contractors to educate employees about the provisions of the False Claims Act – a way to deter future fraud while educating people about the whistleblower rights they already enjoy.

  13. TAFNET:  TAFNet, our members-only list-serv, provides a steady stream of information about the False Claims Act to dedicated plaintiff’s attorneys and provides them with a private forum through which they can ask practice questions, solicit advice, and disseminate information.

  14. Counsels and Advises Whistleblowers and Their Attorneys:  When whistleblowers and attorneys are baffled by an unexpected turn of events, or even when they just need an idea of what to do next, they increasingly call Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund.  TAFEF provides answers, feedback, advice, ideas, and often recommends others with expertise in specific problem areas.

  15. Working to Maintain FCA Incentives:  TAF explains and defends the rationale for whistleblower incentives as a core reason for why the False Claims Act works, and we serve as a necessary (and winning) counterbalance to those who seek to cap? whistleblower awards.

  16. Educate About Remedies to Curtail Fraud:  TAF makes specific recommendations to Congress about steps that can be taken to discourage fraud.   For example, TAF suggested that the “Average Wholesale Price” be replaced with an all-encompassing “Average Sales Price” in order to discourage pharmacy company price gouging of the Medicaid program.

  17. Press Awareness:  TAFEF has become a must-stop shop for reporters covering False Claims Act cases, providing examples, contacts, data, and an overall context in which settlements can be understood.

  18. Protecting Standing:  In State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. U.S. ex rel. Jonathan Stevens, TAFEF provided support for and worked with relator’s special counsel, former US Solicitor General Ted Olsen, to develop successful arguments designed to protect a relators’ standing to sue on behalf of the Government under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

  19. Constant Updates:  TAFEF’s free email newsletter is read closely by government officials, reporters, prospective whistleblowers, relator's counsel and defense lawyers, and ensures that these critical players are all kept apprised of new settlements, reports, rules, and litigation developments.  TAFEF’s members-only bi-weekly emails track important FCA opinions and settlements on a rolling basis, and our law journal, the FCA & Qui Tam Quarterly Review is a must-read on both sides of the bar.

  20. Explaining the Business of Fraud:  Because TAF focuses on FCA cases in general, and not just one or two cases, we are able to explain fraud as a business plan and connect case examples across an economic sector, explaining how frauds spread and how pervasive they can be.