The government’s massive response to the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the amount of government funds that are available to U.S. businesses in the form of loans, grants and other benefits. The False Claims Act (FCA) provides the government and potential “whistleblowers” with significant incentives to aggressively pursue allegations of fraud against the government. The federal Inspector General (IG) offices have broad powers to audit and investigate government contractors to root out waste, fraud and abuse; and Congress recently provided key IG’s with significantly increased resources with which to conduct additional audit and investigative activity. At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to ramp up its enforcement efforts to protect shareholders from fraud and abuse arising out of the pandemic’s economic fallout. Our first priority is to ensure our clients stay in compliance. However, given the inevitable scrutiny on relief programs, we have a team in place that can defend FCA claims and audits as well as SEC investigations when needed.
Brownstein attorneys have extensive experience with FCA, IG and SEC matters affecting a range of industries including health care, defense, construction, technology and financial institutions. Our team includes a former federal inspector general, former prosecutors and other government attorneys, and experienced civil litigators who have successfully represented clients in FCA investigations and litigation, IG investigations and audits, and SEC investigations and enforcement actions.