Feds Recover $4.7 Billion from False Claims Act Cases in 2016
The Department of Justice recently announced its tally of total recoveries for 2016 under the False Claims Act. The government recovered an astonishing $4.7 billion during this time.
The DOJ press release shows the following trends.
First, qui tam whistleblower cases continue to be on the rise. Whistleblowers filed 702 qui tam lawsuits in the fiscal year 2016. This means whistleblowers filed approximately 13.5 cases per week. With increasing numbers of suits being filed, it becomes ever more important for whistleblowers to hire lawyers who are skilled and knowledgeable in presenting these cases to the government. While overall filings and recoveries are up, the vast majority of cases still end in no recovery at all.
Next, healthcare fraud continues to be a major area of recovery, with $2.5 billion of recoveries in that area alone. The government continues to recover money from pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories and individual physicians.
Here at our firm in South Florida, the majority of our whistleblower clients come forward to report healthcare fraud.
The government press release went out of its way to mention a number of individual physicians from whom significant recoveries were made in 2016. This is in keeping with DOJ’s recent policies to hold individual fraudsters accountable, rather than merely accepting checks from corporate entities. The press release named eight individual physicians who paid False Claims Act settlements ranging from $250,000 to $10 million.
Next, the government recovered $1.6 billion from cases arising from housing and mortgage fraud. This is continued fallout from the financial crisis of 2008, where banks and others participated in substantial frauds against the Federal Housing Administration. The tremors of this 2008 financial meltdown continue to linger to this day.
The press release also thanked Senator Charles Grassley who in 1986 and again in 2009 and 2010 spearheaded the major legislative changes to the False Claims Act that give it the teeth it has today.
Rabin Kammerer Johnson is proud to have participated in the 2016 tally of whistleblower recoveries. In 2016, our firm’s cases recovered approximately $43 million for the government. We look forward to participating in significant cases in 2017 as well.
If you feel you have a whistleblower case and would like to talk about it, feel free to contact our firm. We have represented whistleblowers from all around the country, and we handle these cases every day.