Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DOJ Announces Nearly $5 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries for FY 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that it had secured $4.9 billion in settlements and judgments in civil cases involving fraud against the federal government for fiscal year 2012. Highlights of DOJ's announcement include:
  • $4.9 billion for 2012 is a "record recovery" for a single year, eclipsing the previous record by more than $1.7 billion.
  • Total recoveries under the False Claims Act since January 2009, when President Obama took office, is $13.3 billion.
  • 647 qui tam actions were filed in 2012.
  • Of the $4.9 billion in recoveries, $3.3 billion resulted from suits filed by qui tam relators.
  • Of the $4.9 billion, health care fraud recoveries accounted for more than $3 billion and housing and mortgage fraud recoveries accounted for $1.4 billion.
  • Enforcement actions against the pharmaceutical and medical device industry were the source of the largest recoveries, such as the $1.5 billion paid by GlaxoSmithKline and $441 million paid by Merck.
  • The mortgage fraud recoveries included a $900 million settlement with five mortgage companies to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses.
  • Procurement fraud recoveries totaled $427 million, bringing the total of procurement fraud recoveries to $1.7 billion since January 2009.
  • Nearly 8,500 qui tam suits have been filed since 1986; 2,200 were filed since January 2009.
As Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West stated in announcing these False Claims Act recoveries, the "recovery of taxpayer dollars" is "a high enforcement priority" that has been brought about in part by the "aggressive use of [the False Claims Act]. . . . . The False Claims Act is, quite simply, the most powerful tool that we have to deter and redress fraud." The statements made by Associate Attorney General West and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Delery in announcing these recoveries can be found here and here.

A. Brian Albritton
December 5, 2012

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