President Abraham Lincoln enacted the False Claims Act during the Civil War when bullets were filled with sawdust instead of gunpowder, the government received sand instead of sugar, and horses arrived decrepit or blind. Regrettably, fraud against the Government is still a pervasive problem and extends widely across industries. Employees, including managers and executives, are often in a position to identify situations where an entity is defrauding the Government. Understanding the ins and outs of the False Claims Act and its qui tam and retaliation provisions may provide those who observe fraud against the government a way to stop the conduct.
NEW YORK & MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Consumers from New York and California filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court in New York today against KAS Direct LLC, alleging that the company uses deceptive marketing and business practices to promote its Babyganics line of infant-oriented health, hygiene, and personal-care and household cleaning products, said plaintiffs law firm Halunen Law.
Despite its name, the suit alleges that most Babyganics products are not manufactured using organic ingredients. Yet the company’s marketing has made them appear as the organic and therefore safer and healthier – if costlier – alternative to thousands of American parents concerned about reducing their babies’ physical exposure at home to potentially harmful synthetic chemicals the complaint alleges. Most Babyganics infant care products are applied directly to the skin, such as sunscreens, diaper rash rubs, insect repellents, and hand and face wipes. The suit alleges that consumers have become increasingly concerned about the effects of synthetic and chemical ingredients in their products and that Babyganics is capitalizing on consumers’ concerns and their desire for “organic products.”
Fraud against the government is nothing new. It’s an age-old problem dating back to the Civil War era when contractors supplied the army with broken guns, sand-packed bullets, lame pack mules, cardboard boots and more. President Lincoln asked Congress for a law setting severe financial penalties those who engaged in the practice. Today, the False Claims Act (FCA) —also known as the original Whistleblower Law—is still a viable way to protect the United States government and people who “blow the whistle” on fraudulent activity. Someone claiming fraud, also known as a relator, can sue a company for its illegal action. If the lawsuit is successful, relators receive a percentage of what the Government recovers.
Halunen Law attorneys have brought FCA cases on behalf of relators across the county. In this video, Halunen Law Founder and Managing Partner Clayton Halunen discusses the law in more detail. If you’re aware of fraudulent activity against the government, the team at Halunen Law is there to help.
Video link: reellawyers.com
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