Government fraud, or the act of procuring government funds through unethical means, is a substantial problem in the United States, and it is the taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill for these fraudulent actions. Government fraud is viewed as an exceedingly serious offense, and as such, it is an offense that is usually prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Not everyone fully comprehends the intricacies of government fraud, however, and for this reason, some individuals end up committing the act unknowingly, or fail to recognize when their business is a fault for a fraudulent offense. Here is a look at some of the more common types of government fraud.
Medicare and Medicaid fraud are increasingly prevalent problems in the U.S. Examples of this type of fraud are when health care providers bill for services that were unnecessary or never performed, or if they overestimate the costs of a particular health service and obtain funds for the inflated price.
Examples of contractor fraud include charging the government for work that is incomplete or was never performed or using bribes to secure a contract. Another commonly seen occurrence of contractor fraud involves knowingly inflating the cost of the labor or supplies needed for a particular government project.
False Claims/False Statements
Per the Federal False Claims Act, it is illegal to make a false claim in order to obtain money from the government. One example of making false claims or statements might involve falsifying documents to obtain funding from the government for medical procedures. Another example could be if a contractor has agreed not to use a particular product or building material on a job, but does so anyway.
Those who suspect government fraud is being committed by a particular person or entity are sometimes able to obtain compensation for reporting these actions to the government. This is commonly referred to as “whistleblowing.”