Whistleblower Law Blog
U.S. Dept. of Justice Urges Federal Court to Allow $1 Billion False Claims Act Case to Move Forward Against Nelnet
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia rejecting Nelnet, Inc.’s contention that its settlements with the Department of Education (ED) bar Oberg’s qui tam action. Dr. Jon H. Oberg, a former employee of the Department of Education, brought a qui tam seeking the return of approximately $1 billion that student loan companies obtained through false pretenses.
Nelnet reached a settlement with the Department of Education under which the company would stop receiving overpayments. However, the agreement did not require Nelnet to return any of the nearly $1 billion in overpayments it had already received. In its brief, the U.S. Department of Justice stated, “. . . it is clear from statutory and other authority that Congress has committed exclusive authority to settle claims of fraud, including FCA claims, to the Attorney General” and furthermore that Nelnet has not presented evidence that the Department of Education even intended to release the company from FCA liability. For the full brief, click here.