Whistleblowers awarded more than $210 million last year

Nov. 14, 2001 — Whistleblowers were awarded more than $210 million in the past fiscal year for their work in bringing successful qui tam lawsuits, the Justice Department announced today.

During that same period (Oct. 1, 2000 through Sept. 30, 2001), the U.S. government recovered nearly $1.2 billion as a result of qui tam lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act, the department said — a portion of which was due to whistleblower lawsuits brought by Phillips & Cohen LLP.

"Taking a firm stand against those who defraud the government is always critical, and is especially so at this time," said Assistant Attorney General Robert D. McCallum Jr. in a statement. "This new record demonstrates the department's continued commitment to pursue those who defraud the United States, whether by providing defective products, billing for phantom services or otherwise misusing public funds for private gain."

The recoveries included settlements from four qui tam cases brought by Phillips & Cohen on behalf of several whistleblowers:

  • A qui tam case brought by two Utah doctors and part of a qui tam lawsuit brought by a former HCA manager were covered in a $745 million settlement of many whistleblower lawsuits by HCA - the Healthcare Co.
  • Quorum Health Group Inc. paid $85.7 million to settle whistleblower allegations it had submitted false cost reports to Medicare.
  • The University of California paid $22.5 million to settle a qui tam lawsuit that alleged false claims by UC's five teaching hospitals for reimbursement under Medicare and other federal health insurance programs.