The United States Department of Justice released its recovery figures from False Claims Act cases on Wednesday for the 2016 fiscal year. Not surprisingly, that number reaches the billions of dollars, at over $4.7 billion. DOJ states that this is the 3rd highest annual recovery and that since 2009, recoveries under the FCA have annually averaged $4 billion. Of the $4.7 billion recovered, $2.5 billion was recovered from the health care industry. With $1.7 billion being recovered from cases involving mortgage fraud.
DOJ states that 702 qui tam cases were filed in fiscal year 2016 and that $2.9 billion was recovered from whistleblower initiated cases under the qui tam provisions of the FCA. In those cases the whistleblowers received $519 million under the qui tam provisions.
The FCA is the primary tool for civil recovery of government funds obtained by fraud. And most FCA cases are brought by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the FCA. Those provisions allow a private individual, with private counsel, to file suit alleging fraud and in the case where the government does not intervene, allows the whistleblower and his/her counsel to litigate the case in the place of the government. In cases filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions, if the case is successful by settlement or judgment, the whistleblower is entitled to receive between 15% – 30% of the money returned to the government.
As further evidenced by the above statistics, whistleblowers play a vital role in combating fraud against the government and aiding in the recovery of money paid or received through fraud.
If you have information about a situation in which a person, group, or corporation is knowingly defrauding the U.S. government, please contact us online or call us at (800) 674-9725. All consultations are completely confidential and free.