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DOJ Recovers $3 Billion under False Claims Act in 2010

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As reported in a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, the DOJ has recovered $3 billion in taxpayer dollars under the False Claims Act.  Its press release states:

Most of the cases resulting in recoveries were brought to the government by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, the federal government’s primary weapon in the battle against fraud….

Of the $3 billion in settlements and judgments obtained in fiscal year 2010, over $2.3 billion was recovered in lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions. Under these provisions, whistleblowers (known as “relators”) – many of whom face considerable personal risk in coming forward with allegations of fraud – are entitled to recover between 15 and 30 percent of the proceeds of a successful suit. In fiscal year 2010, relators were awarded $385 million. Since 1986, when the qui tam provisions were strengthened by Congress, recoveries in qui tam cases have exceeded $18 billion, and relators have obtained more than $2.8 billion in awards.

Fiscal year 2010 also saw records for several types of health care fraud. A $2.3 billion settlement with Pfizer Inc. marked the largest health care fraud settlement in history. The $2.3 billion includes $669 million recovered under the federal False Claims Act, $1.3 billion in criminal fines and forfeitures, and $331 million in recoveries for state Medicaid programs and the District of Columbia….

The largest fiscal year 2010 False Claims Act recoveries came from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, which accounted for $1.6 billion in settlements, including the $669 million from Pfizer Inc., $302 million from AstraZeneca, and $192.7 from Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation.

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