Many employees find themselves in this one very similar situation each and every day: they have witnessed or have become aware of wrongdoing at the workplace. This can be something very serious, and it may even be illegal or fraudulent. For example, if you work in the healthcare industry, you may have been a witness to prescription fraud. Some people choose to ignore what they have discovered and look the other way. Other people, however, can’t bear having certain things on their conscience. They expose their employer or colleague, or essentially, “blow the whistle” on them. Although they did absolutely nothing wrong except share the truth about their fraudulent activities, some workers are terminated strictly as a result of their actions, which is also typically not permitted. This may lead to a whistleblower or qui tam lawsuit, and if you were fired for exposing prescription fraud, you may already be working with an attorney on your case.
Prescription fraud can happen in many different ways. An employee working in a medical setting, such as a pharmacy or a doctor’s office, may be guilty of regularly committing acts that would constitute prescription fraud. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, some common examples of prescription fraud include:
- People stealing prescription pads from doctors to write their own prescriptions
- Written prescriptions for fictitious patients
- Individuals altering their originally legitimate prescriptions from their doctors to include a different drug, higher dosage, or higher quantity
- Falsifying physician information in order to obtain prescription drugs
- Forged signatures
- Photocopying previously legitimate prescriptions
- Prescriptions that are otherwise altered, forged, or counterfeited
One story of prescription fraud that made headlines involved a New York pharmacist who created fictitious patient accounts. By doing so, he was able to create fraudulent prescriptions for his own use. An internal investigation uncovered this entire scheme, and as a result, he was terminated. Similar situations have been known to happen, and in situations like these, a qui tam or whistleblower lawsuit could possibly result if another employee at that pharmacy became aware of the pharmacist’s behavior. Let’s say that the employee reports that behavior, and in turn, the employee reporting the behavior is terminated. In this type of scenario, the pharmacy may be found liable in a qui tam or whistleblower lawsuit.
Another story involving a prescription fraud ring revealed details of identity theft and unlawfully obtaining physician information, such as DEA registration numbers, in order to obtain controlled substances. The investigation also uncovered fictitious prescription templates and other fraudulent files on the defendant’s electronic devices. Whenever fraudulent crimes involve multiple people, there can be a higher chance of someone eventually deciding to inform authorities. When organized crime and prescription fraud are linked to the workplace in some way and a termination follows as a form of retaliation, this can be grounds for a whistleblower lawsuit.
Getting terminated from your place of employment for revealing prescription fraud is a gross injustice. Nobody should ever feel regret for simply doing the right thing, but alas, many people in this situation find themselves facing a major challenge. Due to the details of their termination, they may not qualify for unemployment compensation. Even with unemployment benefits, they are still no longer receiving the steady salary that they previously were, which is what most people rely on to take care of their everyday expenses and monthly bills. They may also lose other important benefits, such as health insurance, when they lose their job. Overall, they may have also genuinely enjoyed their role and the position they worked in, even if they did not agree with the prescription fraud that was taking place. Blowing the whistle should help to right the wrongs that are happening and make the workplace a better one; it should never lead to that individual’s termination.
An attorney may believe that your termination is grounds for a qui tam or whistleblowing lawsuit, and you may be pursuing this type of case in order to get the justice you deserve for your unfair termination. Due to being unemployed, you may be facing a significant amount of financial challenges: accumulating debt, mounting household bills, and the possibility of struggling with daily expenses. While you wait for your case to settle, however, you may have other options to consider, like pre-settlement funding.
Also referred to as a lawsuit advance, this option enables plaintiffs to receive money sooner while their attorneys continue to resolve their cases. This means that you don’t have to wait for your case to officially settle before receiving money. This risk-free service also guarantees that plaintiffs never pay anything back if their lawsuits don’t settle. Contact USClaims today for more information on how the process works and to find out if your case qualifies!