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There are countless government programs that provide money to individuals and to businesses. Some of the highest profile programs are those that provide big payouts to large medical entities. Take, for instance, a hospital that does most of its work for very poor and very old people. That hospital will have occasion to file claims with Medicare and Medicaid, two government programs that pay out on the basis of certain payment tables. Committing fraud through these programs implicates the False Claims Act, one of the most powerful federal statutes out there today.
Few things will land a person in prison more quickly than taking massive amounts of money from the government with a nefarious process. The False Claims Act is a law with a long reach, and depending upon the amount of money involved, people who are convicted of these crimes can land in prison. Whether you end up in prison or with a good deal often depends on the quality of your lawyer. When the federal government comes calling, many seek out the best attorneys because they know the consequences are dire.
Most criminal statutes include some potential for financial liability. This is especially true in the federal system, where many crimes are based upon misappropriation or getting rich through criminal activity. Those who violate this particular statute can find themselves facing down large fines for their actions. More importantly, they can be asked to repay the money they gained through the fraudulent activity. The government is serious about this, especially with whistleblower statutes that allow people to claim a large financial reward if they report fraud against the government. While the potential loss of freedom is almost always the most pressing concern for people who have been charged with this activity, the potential to lose your financial life is another concern that demands the help of a strong attorney.