The Department of Justice continued its trend of success in enforcing the False Claims Act, at least in how much money it recovered from companies.
The DOJ announced Dec. 21 that it recovered more than $3.7 billion in False Claims Act-related settlements and judgments in fiscal year 2017. Its FY 2017 haul was a billion-dollar plunge from the DOJ’s FCA recoveries in FY 2016, but white-collar defenders say there is more to the numbers, and the federal government is still enjoying a trend of success in prosecuting fraud.
Under the FCA, the DOJ prosecutes entities that defraud the federal government in various industries. Under the law’s qui tam provisions, private citizens can also sue these entities on the government’s behalf, and the DOJ can decide to take over those actions, itself. If the DOJ declines to take over their lawsuit, these whistleblowers, or relators, can receive up to 30 percent of the total recovery.
The recoveries are “a message to those who do business with the government that fraud and dishonesty will not be tolerated,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler said in a press release.