Last week, the Department of Justice announced recovery statistics for 2013. According to the DOJ’s release, the False Claims Act was responsible for $3.8 billion of recovered funds from settlements and judgments as of September 30, 2013.
“The False Claims Act affords individuals seeking to combat fraud against the government with a powerful set of tools and potentially compensates them for their efforts,” commented James Kauffman, an attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm who practices in the area of qui tam or whistleblower and False Claims Act Litigation.
“Time and again, corporations filing false claims for payment to the government would go unchecked if it weren’t for an insider, a whistleblower, coming forward and filing suit on the behalf of the government,” Kauffman continued.
2013, and its $3.8 billion in recovered funds, marks the second largest annual recovery in history.
Under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, individuals having knowledge of an entity filing false claims for payment to the government may bring suit against the entity on the behalf of the government. In 2013, there were 752 qui tam lawsuits filed. Qui Tam lawsuits were, alone, responsible for $2.9 billion of the $3.8 billion. Whistleblowers who filed these suits on the behalf of the government recovered $345 million.
“Whistleblowers play a vital role in the recovery of these assets,” Mr. Kauffman remarked. “It is only fitting that they are rewarded for their efforts.”