The United States Dept. of Justice announced that it has secured $1.34 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act in fiscal year 2008. This brings the total recoveries to more than $21 billion since the Act was amended in 1986 to strengthen the qui tam provisions. Almost 78 percent of this year’s recoveries are associated with suits initiated by private citizens (known as “relators”) under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that taxpayer dollars aren’t lost to fraud,” said Gregory G. Katsas, Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Division. “The billion dollars collected this year is only part of the story. By rooting out fraud and vigorously pursuing it, the Department, with the help of concerned citizens who report fraud in hotline calls and in qui tam complaints, undoubtedly saves the country many times that amount in aborted schemes and misconduct.”
Health care accounted for $1.12 billion of the 2008 total.
Among the suits highlighted in the press release were several brought by relators represented by Phillips & Cohen. These include a $258 million federal recovery involving Cephalon and a $75 million settlement involving Kyphon.