According to the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the DOJ recovered more than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in fiscal year 2016, making it the third highest annual recovery in FCA history. Since 2009, the Department has regularly recovered above $4 billion per fiscal year, and the total recovery during that period is more than $31.3 billion.
Of the $4.7 billion recouped in 2016, $2.5 billion came from the health care industry, including drug companies, medical device companies, hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, and physicians. In many of these cases, state Medicaid programs recovered additional millions of dollars. For the past seven years, the Department has recovered over $2 billion annually in civil health care fraud.
Other large recoveries came from the financial industry following several years-long investigations into the housing and mortgage fraud crisis. False Claims Act settlements and judgments involving federally insured residential mortgages amounted to nearly $1.7 billion, which is the second highest annual recovery in this area.
Most FCA cases are initiated by whistleblowers and filed under the FCA’s qui tam provisions. If the government prevails in the action, the whistleblower-relator, may receive up to 30 percent of the recovery. The Department recovered $2.9 billion from qui tam initiated suits in fiscal year 2016, and whistleblowers filed 702 additional qui tam suits throughout the year. The government awarded whistleblowers $519 million during the same period.
If you believe you have information that may lead to a whistleblower action, or if you have questions about the False Claims Act, please contact the experienced attorneys at Behn and Wyetzner, Chtd.