The Department of Justice has announced new, increased civil penalties that are applicable under the False Claims Act (FCA). The new range of FCA penalties is from $10,957 to $21,916. These increased statutory penalties reflect a continuing, inflation-based increase to the available statutory penalties.
This marks the second year in a row in which the applicable penalties under the FCA have been increased. The statutory penalties under the FCA had long been set in a range between $5,500 and $11,000, in addition to treble damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. Last year, the Government increased the statutory penalties to reflect inflation during the time period in which the penalties had remain unchanged. The 2016 increase saw the range of statutory penalties increase to a range of $10,781 through $21,563. These statutory penalties remain in addition to, and not instead of, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
The new penalties were calculated using an applicable inflation factor of 1.01636. The new penalties are applicable only to violations that took place after November 2, 2015, and where the penalties are incurred after February 3, 2017.
These new penalties reflect the Government’s commitment to increasing the statutory penalties to track inflation. After the many years without increases, the Government is committed to its new trend of annual increases. These increased penalties demonstrate the continued need to be accurate in submitting claims to the Government and to ensure that compliance is prioritized.