Date: August 7, 2017
The Buffalo Law Journal previewed the latest edition of "The False Claims Act Today," a traveling series of seminars about the FCA that is moderated by TELG's Scott Oswald. The Buffalo event on September 19 will feature a panel discussion and practice tips from local attorneys, a federal judge, and an assistant U.S. Attorney.
“What we’re trying to do is shed a light on how [FCA cases are] being investigated, and how the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo is structured."
R. Scott Oswald
“False Claims Act Today” CLE attracts heavy hitters in law
Scott Oswald, managing principal of The Employment Law Group P.C. in Washington, D.C., will visit Buffalo next month to moderate a CLE titled “The False Claims Act Today” at the U.S. Courthouse in Niagara Square.
The Sept. 19 event will run 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature a panel of local judges, attorneys and government officials.
Oswald said the CLE is designed to be an overview on the ins and outs of the False Claims Act, based on how the various U.S. Attorney offices are set up.
“What we’re trying to do is shed a light on how this is being investigated and how the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo is structured,” he said.
The False Claims Act stems from the Civil War and was enacted in 1863. According to Oswald, President Abraham Lincoln would visit the battlefields and wonder why the troops were given substandard rations and uniforms. The generals would explain to Lincoln that they were goods provided for the war effort and there wasn’t a tool to stop it and ensure there were consequences for those profiting from the war. He said Lincoln decided that the government didn’t have an adequate auditing agency and wanted to create an incentive for people who knew about fraudulent activity to come forward.
“It’s a statute that allows a private citizen, through the proper procedure, to notify the government that there has been fraud on the government,” he said. “To the extent that the government agrees and then collects monies from the fraudsters, the individual who comes forward can be rewarded. It incentivizes integrity. The reward can be as much as 30 percent of what the government receives.”