DOJ recently announced that it recovered over $3.5 billion in settlements and judgments from civil fraud cases in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015. That recovery falls short of the $5.69 billion that DOJ recovered in FY 2014.
The majority of the total came from the health care industry, which accounted for $1.9 billion of the settlements and judgments; the next most significant sectors were government contracting and federal procurement at $1.1 billion and housing and mortgage fraud at $365 million. The health care total, which only includes federal losses, included $330 million from cases involving hospitals and $96 million from the pharmaceutical industry. FY 2015 ended a five-year streak in which the government had recovered at least $2 billion from the health care industry annually, though this is likely an anomaly and should not suggest that enforcement in the healthcare sector is waning.
Over two-thirds of the year’s recovery – $2.8 billion – came from whistleblower qui tam suits, including from some of the 638 such suits filed in FY 2015. Relator awards in that period totaled $598 million, the highest ever. Further, over $300 million of that total relator award derived from suits in which DOJ did not intervene; the previous record for highest annual total relator award when DOJ declined to intervene was $49 million in FY 2011.
If you have a potential whistleblower matter and would like to speak to an attorney, contact us now.