DOJ Announces $5.6 Billion Recovered in False Claims Act Cases Last Year–$1.6 Billion From Whistleblowers

On February 1, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported its False Claims Act (FCA) statistics for the 2021 fiscal year. Notably, the DOJ announced that it obtained more than $5.6 billion in FCA settlements and judgments.

This amount is the second-largest annual total of FCA awards in history, and the largest since 2014. Over the last 35 years, the DOJ has recovered more than $70 billion in FCA cases.

A Good Year for Whistleblowers

Of the $5.6 billion recovered by the DOJ in fiscal year 2021, over $1.6 billion stemmed from lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the FCA.

Under these provisions, whistleblowers file a lawsuit on behalf of the government. If the whistleblower, or the government if it intervenes, prevails in a qui tam action, the whistleblower receives a portion of the recovery ranging between 15% and 30%.

Whistleblowers filed 598 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2021 – an average of more than 11 new cases each week – and the government paid out over $237 million to whistleblowers.

Critical Trends

According to the DOJ, the health care industry is the most common focus of False Claims Act litigation, with over $5 billion in settlements and judgments recovered from health care fraud alone. Fraudsters in the health care industry included drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians.

Notable health care fraud cases in 2021 involved recoveries from prescription opioid manufacturers and Medicare Advantage Organizations, and some of the most common fraudulent practices included unlawful kickbacks for services and the provision of unnecessary medical services.

In addition, defense contracting fraud, Covid-19-related fraud, and cyber fraud all emerged as important areas of False Claims Act and whistleblower focus.

Our Role in the Fight Against Government Fraud

At Price Armstrong, our attorneys have extensive experience litigating cases under the False Claims Act. From all forms of health care fraud to defense contracting fraud and more, we know how to both protect whistleblowers and maximize their recovery under the False Claims Act.

If you know of potential fraud against the government, you may have a valuable claim as a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. Cases like those discussed here can and do produce sizable settlements on behalf of the United State government and whistleblowers. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case.