The United States Department of Justice has issued a press release announcing that it has recovered over $4.7 Billion from cases brought under the False Claims Act (FCA) during fiscal year 2016. Fiscal year 2016 ran from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. The recovery of more than $4.7 Billion is the Government’s third highest annual recovery, though it still trailed behind the record $5.69 Billion that was recovered in fiscal year 2014. This also marks the fifth consecutive year that the Government has recovered at least $3.5 Billion from FCA cases. The Government has recovered a staggering $31.3 Billion from FCA cases during the time period since fiscal year 2014.
The healthcare industry was responsible for the majority of the Government’s FCA recoveries, with $2.5 Billion coming from the healthcare industry. Significantly, the DOJ also noted that the announced recoveries include only money that was recovered by the federal government, and does not include state recoveries that may have arisen out of the same cases (or other cases) during 2016. The recoveries in the healthcare sector came largely from drug companies, medical device companies, hospitals, physicians, laboratories, and nursing homes.
The financial industry was responsible for most of the remaining recoveries, with $1.7 Billion of the Government’s recoveries in fiscal 2016 coming from the financial industry. A substantial portion of this amount pertaining to federally insured residential mortgages.
Once again, whistleblowers were involved in many of the cases that led to these Government recoveries. FCA whistleblowers filed 702 claims in fiscal 2016, which is a substantial increase over the 632 filings in fiscal 2015. In fiscal 2016, the Government recovered $2.9 Billion from cases that were initiated by whistleblowers.
These significant numbers in terms of recoveries and the number of qui tam filings provide a meaningful reminder of the need to emphasize compliance and accuracy in the submission of claims to the Government.