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Goldberg Kohn Wins Appeal in False Claims Act Case

United State of America ex rel. Todd Heath vs Wisconsin Bell, Inc.

August 2, 2023

The Seventh Circuit overturned a district judge's ruling regarding a whistleblower’s False Claims Act suit alleging that AT&T subsidiary Wisconsin Bell Inc. overcharged schools and libraries for telecommunications and information services under the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program. Goldberg Kohn attorneys David Chizewer and Roger Lewis are representing whistleblower Todd Heath.

In 2022 a district court found that Heath failed to show Wisconsin Bell had submitted claims for subsidies while falsely certifying compliance with a “lowest corresponding price” as per the regulations set by the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support program, however, the Seventh Circuit found that Heath had, in fact, identified enough specific evidence of discriminatory pricing. With the Seventh Circuit ruling, Wisconsin Bell will again face the fraud charge.  

David Chizewer was quoted in a Law360 article stating Wednesday that "school districts and libraries all over this country are strapped for funding, and the federal government subsidized phone and internet services in recognition of the problem and required carriers to offer them the best prices. 'When carriers deliberately fail to do that, they not only deprive our children of vital educational resources, they also violate the False Claims Act," Chizewer said. "We are pleased that the Court of Appeals recognized the importance of this mandate and endorsed our theory of the case. We look forward to proving it to a jury.'"'

To read the full Law360 article concerning the ruling, click here; "7th Circ. Sends AT&T Unit's Decade-Old FCA Fight To Trial"

To read the Wisconsin Law Journal's coverage of the case, click here.

To read the full ruling, click here

About David Chizewer

David Chizewer is a Principal of the firm and Chair of the Litigation Group. He is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and has been featured in the National Law Journal’s list of 10 of the nation’s top litigators. He has been named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Public Justice Foundation and was separately a runner-up for that same award. He has also been named Lawyer of the Year by the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund.

David served as co-lead trial counsel in two widely acclaimed cases. He was co-lead trial counsel for Plaintiffs, and obtained the largest verdict and judgment in the history of the federal False Claims Act ($334 million), in the case captioned United States of America ex rel. Cleveland A. Tyson, et al. v. Amerigroup Corporation, et al. He was also co-lead trial counsel for a class of 600,000 children on Medicaid against the State of Illinois in the federal case captioned Memisovski, et al. v. Patla, obtaining some of the most sweeping reforms ever to a state Medicaid program. His False Claims Act cases have returned more than a half-billion dollars to government treasuries.

About Roger Lewis

Roger Lewis focuses his practice on False Claims Acts litigation, representing whistleblowers of all kinds in investigating, evaluating and filing claims against persons or entities that defraud the United States government, state government, or other public and private entities. Since Mr. Lewis joined Goldberg Kohn's False Claims Act practice, the firm's cases have returned more than half a billion dollars to state and federal treasuries.

Mr. Lewis also litigates complex commercial litigation in the state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. In addition to general commercial contract and tort matters, his cases have involved lending and financial institution litigation, consumer and property tax litigation, and partnership and shareholder issues. He has extensive experience in protecting the rights of secured creditors in bankruptcy and insolvency litigation in courts nationwide.


Under the False Claims Act, employees or other persons with knowledge who become aware of conduct which violates the Anti-Kickback Statute and leads to false claims on the government can file a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government to address these practices. Whistleblowers who sue on behalf of the government may receive between 15 to 30 percent of the money recovered by the government if the suit is successful.

The whistleblower attorneys at Goldberg Kohn can help. If you are aware of kickbacks or false claims being made on the government, call Goldberg Kohn at 312-284-3258 or contact us online. We are always willing to provide you with a free, confidential consultation to discuss a potential case.

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