Important Trends and Statistics Surrounding Qui Tam Litigation in Fiscal Year 2019
The 2019 False Claims Act Statistics Report, released on January 9th, 2020, sheds light on key trends of qui tam lawsuits, showing whistleblowers are consistently rewarded in qui tam cases that combat fraud against the government. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) releases yearly statistics concerning False Claims Act litigation and outcomes, and Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 showed whistleblowers are consistently recovering hefty sums in U.S. qui tam suits that expose fraudulent practices against the government, among other key insights. Here, the qui tam attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. unpack the latest False Claims Act Statistics Report published by the DOJ and key trends and statistics that can be taken from this report.
An Overview of Qui Tam Litigation and the Role of Whistleblowers
Qui tam actions are outlined in the United States False Claims Act and allow a private citizen the opportunity to report illegal activity and fraud against the government by corporations. Private citizens who expose corporate wrongdoings are thereby deemed “whistleblowers” and make a complaint on behalf of the federal government, who becomes that plaintiff. The False Claims act places liability on individuals or organizations that conduct illegal activity, avoid payments or engage in other forms of corporate fraudulence and allows private citizens the ability to file a complaint if they witness any illegal activity. Qui tam, a provision established under the False Claims Act, allows suits to be filed “under seal,” meaning they are filed privately without the knowledge of the accused entity.
Whistleblowers Received a 10-Year Average of $515 Million Per Year in Rewards
Overall, the DOJ obtained more than $3 billion from False Claims Act cases in FY 2019, both in settlements and judgments from civil cases regarding fraud and false claims against the government. FY 2019 statistics released by the DOJ show that whistleblowers are continuing to collect significant financial rewards year after year, with qui tam whistleblowers receiving $272 million in rewards in FY2019 and an average of $515 million per year for the past ten years. While the FY 2019 total rewards sum may have dipped slightly, this is not indicative of any changes in the False Claims Act in FY 2019 as it often takes years for whistleblowers to receive awards. The past 10 years have seen a $40.4 billion sum recovered by the federal government from the False Claims Act, and of that sum, approximately $31 billion were brought in by whistleblowers as Qui Tam cases, signifying that a majority of total recovery was a result of those who bring fraud within their entity to light, emphasizing the “public-private partnership” between the DOJ and citizens.
Healthcare Industry Fraud Remains a Majority of New Cases Filed Under the False Claims Act
The trend over the past few years has continued into FY 2019, which saw a majority of new cases and awards under qui tam litigation concerning the Department of Health and Human Services. Specifically, a key focus of False Claims Act litigation in FY 2019 concerned Medicare and Medicaid-related fraud. While the healthcare industry remains a key facet of qui tam litigation, other areas seeing litigation include defense procurement fraud, government contracting and even customs duties evasion.
Contact our Qui Tam attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. for a Free Consultation
If you have witnessed fraudulent activity against the federal government by an individual or corporation and wish to file a qui tam case, it is crucial you seek the counsel of a skilled and experienced law firm with substantial knowledge of the intricacies of qui tam, such as Peter Angelos P.C. Having a team of attorneys by your side if the federal government moves forward with your case is important for ensuring success and obtaining the financial reward you deserve. To read the full 2019 False Claims Act Statistics Report, click here. If you are a whistleblower, schedule your free consultation with Peter Angelos P.C. today.