The Washington Post

Justice Dept. recovers record $5 billion under False Claims Act

The headquarters of the Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. (Jon Elswick/AP)

The Justice Department’s civil division recovered a record $5 billion in the past fiscal year from companies that defrauded taxpayers, with much of the abuse occurring in the health-care and mortgage industries.

The department pursued settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act, which Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West described Tuesday as “quite simply, the most powerful tool we have to deter and redress fraud.”

“Vigorous enforcement of the act allows us to protect not only taxpayer dollars but also the integrity of important government programs on which so many Americans rely,” West said.

The amount of money recovered in 2012 is up from $3.2 billion last year, and two-thirds of it was secured through the act’s whistleblower provisions.

“Many of these cases would not be possible without the whistleblowers . . . who have come forward to report fraud, often at great personal risk,” said Stuart Delery, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the civil division.

Among the major settlements was a payment of $1.5 billion by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to resolve allegations that it promoted drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and paid kickbacks to physicians to prescribe the drugs, department officials said. The settlement, the largest health-care fraud case pursued by the department, also included nearly another $1.5 billion in criminal and Medicaid recoveries.

A $25 billion settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage lenders included $900 million under the False Claims Act. Delery said the department continued to pursue investigations in the mortgage industry.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.