Every year, the U.S. government spends and collects billions of dollars for research, development, and licensing of energy projects to private companies. The enormous scale of government-funded energy projects make them especially susceptible to fraud by unscrupulous businesses and individuals who would seek to abuse taxpayer-funded programs. If you have inside knowledge of energy fraud being committed against the federal government, the False Claims Act allows you to act as a whistleblower and file a qui tamlawsuit. Not only can you take a stand and end the fraud, but you can also receive compensation as a whistleblower.
False Claims Act lawsuits are civil lawsuits initiated by citizens (often with valuable inside knowledge of fraud the government could not learn otherwise) and are an important tool in the fight against fraud, waste, and abuse committed against the government and taxpayers. By filing a qui tam False Claims Act lawsuit, you can help the government and taxpayers recover the defrauded funds. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to between 15 and 30% of the money recovered as a reward for exposing and prosecuting fraud.
Companies and individuals that defraud government-funded energy programs employ a variety of schemes and tactics. Some of the most common types of fraud committed against government energy programs include:
Gas and coal royalty fraud: Every year, the federal government collects well more than $10 billion in royaltiesfrom energy companies leasing federal land. Private companies explore federal land to excavate coal, natural gas, oil and other fossil fuels and pay a royalty for the privilege to do so. The royalty is a share of the profits which the private companies make.
Unfortunately, some private energy companies defraud the government by misrepresenting sales figures or using complicated calculations to hide and obscure huge profits. The False Claims Act makes it a crime to knowingly defraud the government. If you have inside information about energy companies manipulating records, contact an energy fraud whistleblower attorney at The Cochran Firm, D.C. You could be eligible for a substantial compensation award.
Research grant fraud: The federal government awards grants to conduct energy research. Each year, millions of dollars are awarded in government contracts to private companies and education institutions for energy research and development.