Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, announced recently that all new qui tam complaints would be “shared by the Civil Division with the Criminal Division as soon as the cases are filed.” Fraud prosecutors will now review all qui tam complaints to determine whether to open a parallel criminal investigation.

For a qui tam defendant, this means two things. First, from a formal, procedural point of view, the defense must take into consideration the possibility of criminal prosecution. Second, from a practical point of view, every qui tam case must be negotiated with the specter of criminal prosecution hovering over the already onerous False Claims Act penalties.

A transcript of the formal comments can be found here.