Historical Year for FCA Settlements – DOJ Recovers More Than $4.7 Billion in 2016
9th January 2017
The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced on December 14, 2016 that in fiscal year 2016 ending September 30th, it collected more than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgements from civil cases involving false claims and fraud against the government. This recovery represents the third highest annual recovery in the history of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and increases the total recovery since fiscal 2009 to a whopping $31.3 billion.
Of the $4.7 billion recovered in fiscal 2016, $2.5 billion came from the health care industry, as did the majority of the total $31.3 billion recovered since 2009 - $19.3 billion - which was primarily attributable to fraud and false claims for improper billing of government health programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare.
$2.9 billion of the $4.7 billion recovered in fiscal 2016 related to qui tam lawsuits filed by whistleblowers. The government also paid out $519 million during this same period to whistleblowers who exposed the fraud and false claims.
There were 702 FCA qui tam lawsuits filed by whistleblowers in fiscal 2016, which averages approximately 13.5 new cases every week. This is one of the largest totals in FCA history. Increased recoveries are the byproduct of the growing number of qui tam lawsuits filed. The government has paid more than $4 billion in whistleblower awards and recovered almost $24 billion in judgments and settlements related to qui tam suits since January 2009 to the end of fiscal year 2016.