FCA Settlements And Judgments Exceed $2 Billion
351 Settlements And Judgments For Year
Total Recovered By FCA Cases Now Total Over $72 Billion
Federal law authorizes private citizens to bring suits against businesses and individuals believed to be defrauding the government. False Claims Act, (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq. Much government fraud occurs in the healthcare sector under programs like Medicare as the 2022 statistics discussed below indicate. The government pays out billions on fraudulent claims each year according to reports, but fortunately individual FCA cases also recoup billions each year for the government. Cases brought by private citizens (referred to in the law as “relators”) are known as “qui tam actions.” The FCA authorizes awards to relators for bringing and prosecuting these cases concerning fraud on the government. 31 U.S.C. §3730 (d). Whistleblowers filed 652 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2022, and this past year the department reported settlements and judgments exceeding $1.9 billion in these and earlier-filed suits. During the same period, the government paid out over $488 million to the individuals who exposed fraud and false claims by filing these actions.
Frequently, relators are current or former employees, representatives or agents of the businesses committing the alleged fraud. Two recent settlements where the relators will receive substantial rewards for their efforts are discussed below. If you have credible information of fraud against the government in violation of the FCA and live in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
2022 FCA Settlements And Judgments
Settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act exceeded $2.2 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, announced today. The government and whistleblowers were party to 351 settlements and judgments, the second-highest number of settlements and judgments in a single year. Recoveries since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, now total more than $72 billion.
Of the more than $2.2 billion in False Claims Act settlements and judgments reported by the Department of Justice this past fiscal year, over $1.7 billion related to matters that involved the health care industry, including drug and medical device manufacturers, durable medical equipment, home health and managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, and physicians. The amounts included in the $1.7 billion reflect recoveries arising only from federal losses, and, in many of these cases, the department was instrumental in recovering additional amounts for state Medicaid programs.
Bringing A Qui Tam Action
Individuals with original and credible information of false claims, like the relators in the two reported cases, begin FCA qui tam cases by filing a complaint under seal in the federal court. At the same time, the relator submits a disclosure to the DOJ outlining the material evidence the relator has of the alleged false claims. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). The seal period of the complaint lasts 60 days during which the DOJ investigates the claims. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2). (If necessary, the government can, and often does, extend the 60-day period during which the allegations are kept under seal.) If the government decides to intervene in the case, the government essentially takes over the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(1). If the government declines to intervene, the relator may proceed with the litigation on his or her own. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(3).
If you have credible information of government fraud in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267) or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. In addition to FCA and CFCA whistleblower cases, Ingrid and Evans Law Firm, Inc. also handle bank fraud whistleblower cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program.