In a False Claims Act case, one of the most crucial things your attorney will do is to help you provide your information to the Government in the most usable fashion. We talked before about providing a complete set of documents; another critical piece is a witness list.
At its most basic, the witness list, which we also refer to as a “persons with knowledge” list, is a listing of any person who could possibly have knowledge of the fraudulent practices. But not everyone on your list may be aware of the fraud. For example, in a medical practice you may have one person who enters all of the coding in the computer. The MD may be very much aware of the upcoding taking place (and even demanding it), while the admin who physically enters the codes has no idea the codes are fraudulent. You would include both the admin and the MD on the witness list, because they both have knowledge about what happens during the coding process. In this same example, you would also include the front desk employees, nurses, techs, office managers, doctors, accountants, and anyone else who comes in contact with patients or handles any aspect of the business – even if they are family members or friends of the person committing the fraud.
By the time it is ready to turn over to the Government, your list will provide helpful information such as contact information, what knowledge they may have of the schemes, titles within the company, and if they would be considered friendly or not (participating in the fraud or opposed to it). At Bracker & Marcus, we provide a template to guide you and consult with you along the way.
Include EVERYONE on your witness list. Even if you think that person may be dishonest and try to cover up the fraud. It is the investigator’s job to determine if someone is truthful or not. Your job to provide the most comprehensive list of people you possibly can. Leave no stone unturned! You never know how it may affect the outcome of your case.