The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it received $3.8 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud against the government in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.   According to the DOJ, the largest recoveries were related to healthcare fraud: a total of $2.6 billion. The total recoveries under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) since January 2009 are now $17 billion, DOJ reported.

The DOJ noted that some of the largest recoveries last year related to alleged fraud and false claims in the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries.  Of the $2.6 billion in federal healthcare fraud recoveries, $1.8 billion involved alleged false claims for drugs and medical devices under federally insured health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE. Many of these settlements involved allegations that pharmaceutical manufacturers improperly promoted their drugs for off-label uses.

The number of FCA qui tam suits filed in FY 2013 rose to 752, which is 100 more than the record set in the last fiscal year. Recoveries in qui tam cases during FY 2013 totaled $2.9 billion.  Of that amount, whistle-blowers recovered $345 million.  Read the DOJ’s press release: “Justice Department Recovers $3.8 Billion from False Claims Act Cases in Fiscal Year 2013” (Dec. 20, 2013).