May 24, 2013 – Hurricane Katrina is considered the most costly natural disaster in U.S. History, estimated to have cost up to $125 billion. The federal government has picked up the majority of this tab, both in the form of immediate disaster recovery and long-term rebuilding projects. Unfortunately, this massive payout of federal funding was accompanied by widespread fraud.

May 24, 2013 – Hurricane Katrina is considered the most costly natural disaster in U.S. History, estimated to have cost up to $125 billion. The federal government has picked up the majority of this tab, both in the form of immediate disaster recovery and long-term rebuilding projects. Unfortunately, this massive payout of federal funding was accompanied by widespread fraud. A New York Times article described the waste and fraud as “breathtaking”. Several False Claims Act cases were eventually filed by whistleblowers. In one recent case, a jury found insurance company State Farm to have fraudulently misclassified wind damage as flood damage in order to increase federal relief funding. Other cases involved schemes to receive funding by firms awarded federal contracts.

Seven months ago, Hurricane Sandy also caused widespread devastation. Federal funding of approximately $52 billion has been approved to aid in the recovery and rebuilding of the region. But with this influx of federal disaster relief aid comes opportunities for fraud and abuse. Whistleblowers with knowledge of fraudulent activity associated with the receipt of these federal funds can help stop these abuses by filing a whistleblower, or qui tam, a lawsuit under the False Claims Act. Under the law, whistleblowers can earn an award equaling 15-30% of the government’s recovery. Whistleblower complaints under the False Claims Act involve unique legal procedures and, according to federal law, cannot be filed without an attorney.

IMPORTANT: If you believe you have evidence of fraud against the government, securities fraud, commodities fraud, or IRS or New York State tax fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation by calling our 24/7 toll-free hotline at 1-800-988-8005 or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above).

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