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What to Expect From Federal Government Fraud Charges

federal government contracting fraud lawyer in DC, answers questions about what an individual can expect from different parts of the case, including the government’s investigation.

What Agencies Are Usually Involved in Investigating Government Contracting Fraud?

One of the first agencies you’ll see involved is the Office of the Inspector General. Every government agency, from the Department of Defense to the State Department, Medicare or Medicaid, and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, and the GSA, all of these agencies have an Inspector General. It’s the job of the Inspector General to identify fraud and abuse and stop it. One of the ways they stop fraud is instituting a criminal investigation.

What Does the Government Need to Prove in Contracting Fraud Cases?

The government essentially needs to prove in these government contracting fraud cases that there was a contact between the accused entity and a government agency and that the accused entity either lied about what services they could provide, or they stole money from the government by willfully billing it for services not provided, or they did not provide any services that they promised to provide. Essentially the cases involve lying, cheating, and stealing.

What Types of Evidence Are Used in Contracting Fraud Cases?

Well, these cases are often document intensive. The jury will have an opportunity to see various contracts. They’ll see what was promised and what the government believed it was getting. Then, through documentary evidence and/or witness testimony, the government will present a picture of what was it actually provided. So the jury will have the opportunity to see if there is a deficit between what was promised,  what was expected, and what was actually provided.   The government must show the cheating was willful and intentional, not accidental.

Why Should Someone Speak to an Attorney Before Answering Questions from Law Enforcement?

Especially in the context of a government contracting fraud case, when the government is at the point where they are looking to speak with you they have already decided that you are guilty of fraud.  They likely have already spent months gathering evidence against you.  They will offer you an opportunity to “clear your name.”  But I’ve hardly ever seen it happen.

Instead, usually what happens is the person goes in speaks to law enforcement and actually helps law enforcement make the case against them stronger. A person, who is accused of this type of government contracting fraud, has the disadvantage of not knowing what the government already knows. If the government can fill in the blanks, so to speak, by having you unknowingly answer certain questions, they will.  Thus, it’s almost always best to assert your right to remain silent in my opinion and to require the government to prove their case without your help.  Consulting with a lawyer will help you crystallize the issues and really focus on the investigation at hand and allow you to best protect your rights.

Why Do Clients Choose to Work With You in Government Contracting Fraud Cases?

Clients choose to work with me because of my experience. I have a lot of experience not only working in large law firms but also working as a prosecutor for the United States Government for almost six years. As a result of that, it broadens the perspective that I have in helping clients defend their businesses and/or themselves against charges of government contracting fraud.