More than $44 billion has been recovered through the federal False Claims Act
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today that the federal False Claims Law has recovered $5.69 billion in the fiscal year 2014, nearly $3 billion of which was related to lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
Grassley is the author of the 1986 qui tam amendments to the False Claims Act as well as an update to the law in 2009. In total, $44.67 billion has been recovered through the False Claims Act since Grassley’s 1986 provisions were signed into law. The Justice Department announced that this is the first year that the annual recovery has exceeded $5 billion.
“Time and time again the False Claims Act has proven to be the key tool in battling fraud and recovering more taxpayer dollars. Nearly $45 billion have been recovered because of the law, and an untold amount deterred,” Grassley said. “The False Claims Act provides a crucial check during a time of growing government and out of control federal spending. No matter what we do to deter fraud, whistleblowers are the key to finding it. Our 1986 qui tam amendments have empowered these people to come forward and risk their livelihoods to do what is right.”
The amendments Grassley championed 25 years ago along with Rep. Howard Berman of California strengthened the Civil War-era False Claims Act which was originally signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. The 1986 Grassley-Berman qui tam amendments empowered whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the United States against those who fraudulently claim federal funds, including Medicare, Medicaid, contract payments, disaster assistance and other benefits, subsidies, grants and loans. The number of suits filed under the qui tam provisions exceeded 700 in the fiscal year 2014 for the second year in a row, according to the Justice Department.
In 2009, in coordination with Senator Patrick Leahy, Grassley worked to pass legislation to shore up whistleblower protections in the False Claims Act that had been eroded by the courts after years of litigation by defense and healthcare contractors. The legislation threatened to limit the scope and applicability intended by Congress in the 1986 update. Grassley said the update helps ensure that no fraud will go unpunished because of legal loopholes.
A press release from the Justice Department on the fiscal year 2014 False Claims Act recoveries can be found here.