In his 25 years of practice, Jonathan Tycko has represented a wide range of clients, including individuals, Fortune 500 companies, privately-held business, and non-profit associations, in both trial and appellate courts around the country. Although he continues to handle a variety of cases, his current practice is focused primarily on helping whistleblowers expose fraud and corruption through qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act and other similar whistleblower statutes. Mr. Tycko’s whistleblower clients have brought to light hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud in cases involving healthcare, government contracts, customs duties and tariffs, banking, and tax.
Prior to founding Tycko & Zavareei LLP in 2002, Mr. Tycko was with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, one of the nation’s top law firms. He received his law degree in 1992 from Columbia University Law School, and earned a B.A. degree, with honors, in 1989 from The Johns Hopkins University. After graduating from law school, Mr. Tycko served for two years as law clerk to Judge Alexander Harvey, II, of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
In addition to his private practice, Mr. Tycko is an active participant in other law-related and community activities. He currently serves on the Conference Committee of the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, charged with planning the premier annual conference of whistleblower attorneys and their counterparts at the United States Department of Justice and other government agencies. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School. He is a former member and Chairperson of the Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee of the District of Columbia Bar, where he helped draft the ethics rules governing members of the bar. And Mr. Tycko is a member of the Board of Trustees of Studio Theatre, one of the D.C. area’s top non-profit theaters.
Mr. Tycko is admitted to practice before the courts of the District of Columbia, Maryland and New York, as well as before numerous federal courts, including the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts for the D.C. Circuit, Third Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Seventh Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit and Federal Circuit, the District Courts for the District of Columbia and District of Maryland, the Southern District of New York, the Northern District of New York, the Western District of New York, and the Court of Federal Claims.
Stone Scholar (all three years), Columbia Law School
Thomas E. Dewey Prize for Best Brief, Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition, Columbia Law School
Award of Litigation Excellence, CARECEN-The Central American Resource Center
Selected to SuperLawyers, 2012-current
Member of the D.C. Bar Leadership Academy
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF)
American Association for Justice (AAJ)
Presentations and Publications:
“When Defendant Claims Financial Hardship: Ability-To-Pay and Payment-Over-Time Settlements,” presentation at Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, Annual Conference (2020)
“Whistleblowing in the Trump Era: Will the Whistles Sound as Loudly?” presentation at D.C. Bar, Changing Currents In Employment Law (2017)
“The Government’s Other Whistleblower Programs,” presentation at American Association of Justice, Annual Convention (2017)
“The False Claims Act as a Tool for Enforcement of the Customs Laws,” webinar presentation, The Knowledge Group (2015)
“Portfolio Sales and The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act,” presentation at the D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate (2015)
“Basics of Qui Tam Litigation,” presentation at Human Rights First (2014)
“Fundamentals of Warranty Law: Express v. Implied, Notice, Unconscionability,” presentation at American Association for Justice Class Action Litigation Seminar (2014)
“A Primer On D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity To Purchase Law,” DC Trial (Vol. X, No. 3, Apr. 2007)
“Responding To Falsification Of Evidence,” ABA Committee On Corporate Counsel Newsletter (Winter 2006)
“Indirect Purchaser Litigation On Behalf Of Consumers After CAFA,” Antitrust (Fall 2005) (co-authored with Bruce V. Spiva)
Qui Tam Lawsuit Against Advanced Biohealing, Inc.
Represented a whistleblower who brought a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act against Advanced Biohealing, Inc. (“ABH”), alleging that ABH utilized illegal kickback schemes to sell its product, Dermagraft, to hospitals operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That lawsuit resulted in a number of criminal convictions, as well as a settlement pursuant to which pharmaceutical company Shire, which had purchased ABH, agreed to pay $350 million to federal and state governments—one of the largest settlements ever in a kickbacks case.
Qui Tam Lawsuit Against Victaulic Company
Represented whistleblower in False Claims Act qui tam case against Victaulic Company (“Victaulic”), which alleged that Victaulic had imported pipe fittings without proper country-of-origin markings, and without paying “marking duties” owed as a result. The case resulted in an historic ruling from the United States Circuit Court for the Third Circuit, which held for the first time that country-of-origin marking violations could be pursued in qui tam cases under the False Claims Act, and which firmly established, more generally, the an importer’s failure to pay customs duties is a violation of the False Claims Act’s “reverse false claims” provision. The lawsuit subsequently settled on confidential terms.
Qui Tam Lawsuit Against Orbit Medical Inc. and Rehab Medical Inc.
Represented two whistleblowers who brought a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act against defendants Orbit Medical Inc. and Rehab Medical Inc. alleging that Orbit sales representatives, under the direction of one of Orbit’s top executives, Jake Kilgore, forged medical records so that Orbit could obtain payment from Medicare for electric wheelchairs. This qui tam lawsuit resulted in a settlement worth more than $7.5 million, and also a number of criminal convictions.
Qui Tam Lawsuit Against Arbon Equipment Corporation and Rite-Hite Holding Corporation
Represented a whistleblower who brought a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act against defendants Arbon Equipment Corporation (Arbon) and Rite-Hite Holding Corporation (Rite-Hite). The lawsuit alleged that Arbon and Rite-Hite violated “prevailing wage laws,” which include the federal Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act, and certain provision of the California Labor Code. These prevailing wage laws require contractors and subcontractors working on certain types of government-funded projects to pay employees working on those projects specified hourly wages that are higher than minimum wage, and often higher than the employees would be paid for doing similar work on private projects. The action brought by a former Arbon employee, alleged that Arbon and its parent company, Rite-Hite, failed to pay prevailing wages to employees who installed and serviced loading dock equipment at facilities owned by the federal or California state governments. Pursuant to the terms of a settlement, the Defendants paid a total of $4,000,000 and agreed to change their compensation practices and policies to assure compliance with federal and California prevailing wage laws.
Qui Tam Lawsuit Against CXtex
Represented a whistleblower who brought a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act against Cablexpress Corp. d/b/a/ CXtec, alleging that the company violated the Trade Agreements Act by knowingly selling products to U.S. government agencies that were manufactured in China and other non-approved countries. The lawsuit resulted in substantial payments by CXtec to the United States government; the exact terms of the settlement are confidential.
Significant court rulings in Mr. Tycko’s cases include the following:
United States ex rel. Scott v. Arizona Ctr. for Hematology & Oncology, PLC, No. CV-16-03703-PHX-DGC, 2020 WL 2059926 (D. Ariz. Apr. 29, 2020) (on behalf of whistleblower client, obtained ruling denying defendants’ motions for summary judgment and to exclude experts in False Claims Act qui tam case alleging fraud by a large radiation oncology practice group)
United States ex rel. Customs Fraud Investigations, LLC. v. Victaulic Co., 839 F.3d 242, 245 (3d Cir. 2016) (on behalf of whistleblower client, obtained appellate ruling that violations of country-of-origin marking requirements by an importer can also constitute violations of the False Claims Act; first decision to ever so hold)
United States v. Shire Regenerative Med., Inc., No. 8:11-CV-176-T-30MAP, 2017 WL 6816615 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 20, 2017) (obtained ruling that client, a whistleblower in a False Claims Act case, was entitled to significant share of a $350 million settlement under the False Claims Act’s “first-to-file” rule).
United States ex rel. Mustafa v. Najjar, 120 F. Supp. 3d 1322, 1323 (M.D. Fla. 2015) (on behalf of whistleblower client, obtained ruling that whistleblower who had brought qui tam case was entitled to a share of a settlement entered into by the government with the brother of the defendant named in the qui tam case).
Robinson v. Nationstar Mortg. LLC, No. CV TDC-14-3667, 2019 WL 4261696 (D. Md. Sept. 9, 2019) (obtained class certification in case alleging that a mortgage servicing company routinely violated “Regulation X,” which governs home loan medication requests; first case to ever certify such a class).
Minnick v. Clearwire U.S. LLC, 174 Wash. 2d 443, 275 P.3d 1127 (2012) (obtained victory in Supreme Court of Washington on behalf of customers who were charged early termination fees; case subsequently settled for millions of dollars in refunds to customers).
Waterside Towers Resident Ass’n Inc. v. Trilon Plaza Co., 2 A.3d 1084 (D.C. App. 2010) (victory in District of Columbia Court of Appeals on behalf of tenants’ association who challenged sale of their building under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act)
Gomez v. Indep. Mgmt. of Delaware, Inc., 967 A.2d 1276 (D.C. App. 2009) (victory in District of Columbia Court of Appeals on behalf of tenants and tenants’ association challenging sale of their building and retaliatory actions of landlord).
2200 M St. LLC v. Mackell, 940 A.2d 143 (D.C. App. 2007) (on behalf of owners of a condominium unit at the Ritz-Carlton Condominium in Washington, D.C., obtained ruling from District of Columbia Court of Appeals that provisions of condominium sales documents did not constitute arbitration agreement, and that owners could therefore pursue their construction defect claims in court).