Monday, January 6, 2014

DOJ Announces $3.8 Billion in False Claim Act Recoveries for FY 2013

The US Department of Justice recently announced another historic year in FY 2013 for False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries and judgments: a total of $3.8 billion, falling short of 2012's nearly $5 billion in FCA recoveries. Among the highlights featured in the DOJ's press release are:
  • Heath care fraud continued to constitute the largest portion of FCA recoveries: $2.6 billion, not including $443 million in recoveries by state Medicaid programs.
  • Of the $2.6 billion in health care related fraud recoveries, $1.8 billion resulted from claims relating to drug and medical devices. 
    • Abbott Labs alone paid $1.5 billion to resolve allegations that it illegally promoted the drug Depakote. $575 million of that amount related to FCA claims.
    • Amgen paid $762 million to settle allegations that it illegally promoted the drug Aranesp. $598.5 million of that related to FCA claims.
  • Procurement fraud, relating primarily to defense contracts, accounted for $890 million recovered.
    • The largest component of the procurement fraud recoveries arose from the $664 million judgment that USDOJ obtained against United Technologies Corp. "based on allegations of false claims and corruption involving government contracts."
  • Qui tam suits "soared" to 752, an increase of 100 from FY 2012, and 74% increase over 2009, when 433 qui tam suits were filed.
  • Of the total $3.8 billion in FCA recoveries, $2.9 billion or 76% arose from qui tam filings, and of that amount, Relators or what the DOJ refers to as "courageous individuals who exposed fraud" recovered $345 million.
  • Last year also saw one of the largest FCA recoveries against a single individual/physician: $26.3 million against a dermatologist, Steven J. Wasserman, M.D., relating to illegal kickbacks.
A. Brian Albritton
January 6, 2014

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