Justice Department Recovers $3 Billion in False Claims Act Cases in 2011

December 19, 2011 Updated Dec 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM EDT

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Justice Department Recovers $3 Billion in False Claims Act Cases in 2011

December 19, 2011 Updated Dec 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM EDT

(DOJ news release) The Justice Department secured more than $3 billion in settlements and judgments in civil cases involving fraud against the government in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2011, Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, announced Monday.  

This is the second year in a row that the department has surpassed $3 billion in recoveries under the False Claims Act, bringing the total since January 2009 to $8.7 billion – the largest three-year total in the Justice Department’s history.

The $3 billion total for fiscal year 2011 includes a record $2.8 billion in recoveries under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which is the government’s primary civil remedy to redress false claims for federal money or property, such as Medicare benefits, payments on military contracts, and federal subsidies and loans. The department has recovered more than $30 billion under the False Claims Act since the act was substantially amended in 1986.   The 1986 amendments strengthened the act and increased the incentives for whistle blowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government. That in turn led to an unprecedented number of investigations and greater recoveries.

“Twenty-eight percent of the recoveries in the last 25 years were obtained since President Obama took office,”Assistant Attorney General West said in the news release. “These record-setting results reflect the extraordinary determination and effort that this administration, and Attorney General Eric Holder in particular, have put into rooting out fraud, recovering taxpayer money and protecting the integrity of government programs.”

Assistant Attorney General West noted that the $3 billion recovered this year included $2.4 billion in recoveries involving fraud committed against federal health care programs. Most of these recoveries are attributable to the Medicare and Medicaid programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. They also include the TRICARE program administered by Department of Defense, the Federal Employees Health Benefits program administered by the Office of Personnel Management and Veterans Administration health programs.

Read the entire DOJ news releaese HERE.