It’s another record haul for the United States Department of Justice! In FY 2014, the DOJ ensured the collection of more than $ 24 billion from civil and criminal actions. The False Claims Act yielded a substantial portion of that total by having its own record setting recovery of $ 5.69 billion.
Healthcare fraud recoveries under the False Claims Act amounted to $ 2.3 billion, which makes this the fifth consecutive year in which such recoveries totaled more than $2 billion. The DOJ considers this “steady, significant and continuing success” attributable to the administration’s high priority fighting health care fraud.
Attorney General Holder, warning that these stiff penalties for white-collar misconduct will continue, said: “The False Claims Act was enacted both to protect vital taxpayer dollars and deter those who would misuse public funds. The department will continue to enforce the law aggressively to ensure the integrity of government programs designed to keep us safer, healthier and economically more prosperous.”
Whistleblowers continued to account for most false claims actions, and they netted a neat $435 million as a result of their complaints. This is certain to encourage the growing trend for more such complaints to be filed, especially by disgruntled employees.
“Be prepared” — that’s the take away. A robust compliance program is far cheaper to implement and execute than dealing with a fraud allegation that will cost large sums to investigate and defend. If you have any question about the adequacy of your compliance program, now is the time to examine and update it, if necessary. Your organization does not want to be part of next year’s record-breaking statistics.