On December 4, 2012, Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West announced that the Justice Department’s Civil Division had recovered nearly $5 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act for fiscal year 2012. This represents yet another record recovery, surpassing the previous record by $1.7 billion. Subsequently, DOJ released more detailed statistics on FCA cases from 1986 through FY 2012, accessible here. A few observations on the recovery:
- Over $3 billion in recoveries from cases involving health care fraud, breaking a previous health care fraud record set in fiscal year 2011. From January 2009 through the end of fiscal year 2012, the DOJ collected over $9.5 billion from health care fraud, setting another record over a four-year period.
- $3.3 billion in actions filed by whistleblowers, arising from 647 separate qui tam suits.
- Almost $1 billion ($911 million) consists of the FCA component of DOJ’s $25 billion mortgage settlement with five banks. The numbers indicate increased activity in this area in 2012, a trend that will likely continue into next year.
- DOJ continues to intervene in roughly the same percentage of cases as in prior years, roughly 22%.
- The number of new matters is roughly the same in 2011 and 2012. However, the DOJ recoveries are substantially higher in both the non-qui tam and qui tam-initiated categories.
- The percentage of suits initiated by DOJ is substantially lower in healthcare fraud matters than in other kinds of qui tams. Only about 5% of FCA suits in the healthcare context are DOJ-initiated. Put differently, virtually all healthcare FCA cases are whistleblower-initiated
- Comparing qui tam cases to settlements and judgments in non-qui tam cases, the non-qui tam cases result in a very high percentage of recoveries relative to their numbers. For example, in 2012, there was over $500 million recovered in non-qui tam cases, which have historically been a very low percent of total healthcare FCA cases.
- DOJ settlements and judgments in intervened or DOJ-initiated cases hit an all-time high, exceeding last year’s record by nearly one billion dollars.
- Recoveries in cases in which DOJ did not intervene hit a low-point compared to recoveries in recent years (only $29 million in 2012 compared to at least $100 million in each of the past two years).