The False Claims Act allows private parties -- often the employees of companies that contract with the government -- to file lawsuits on the government's behalf. When these whistleblowers have evidence of fraud, waste or abuse in a government contract, they can sue to help the government reclaim the money. In exchange for their service, the whistleblowers receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery as a reward.
The Department of Justice has accused Lockheed Martin Corporation, certain affiliated companies, and at least one executive of making false claims against the government and accepting kickbacks in regard to a multibillion-dollar contract. The contract was to clean up a nuclear site in Hanford, Washington.
"Businessmen and companies that lie to get their hands on taxpayer money will be held accountable for their actions," said a U.S. Attorney. "When some people cheat, those who play by the rules are put at a disadvantage."
Between 2006 and 2017, according to the Justice Department, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., billed Medicare, Medicaid and other government healthcare programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens that it knowingly dispensed to people who did not need them. The nationwide pharmacy has agreed to pay $209.2 million to settle the government's claims.
In the 2018 fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Justice recovered billions of dollars on behalf of the federal government from cases involving the False Claims Act. This law holds both individuals and companies responsible for defrauding and taking money from the federal government. In addition to the government seeking to cover its losses from various types of fraudulent actions, a claimant filing under the False Claims Act, whether from New York or another state, may be able to seek a portion of what is recovered.
As drug prices rise in the U.S., some have expressed concerns that charitable payment of drug copays could be contributing to price inflation. This is because, although most patient assistance groups of this type are charities, pharmaceutical companies routinely donate to the groups.
One of the country’s largest home health providers has asked the U.S. Supreme Court consider a recent decision that says the company defrauded Medicare to the tune of $35 million.
The Justice Department has accused defense contracting giant Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation (NGSC) of overbilling for employee hours on two Air Force battlefield communications contracts. It has now agreed to pay $25.8 million to settle those claims without admitting responsibility. When added to previous repayments, the company will have paid $27.45 million to reimburse the government. In addition, it has agreed to forfeit $4.2 million to resolve criminal allegations brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.
Between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2011, the Justice Department says, a Miami-based mortgage originator called the Universal American Mortgage Company LLC (UAMC) knowingly originated mortgages under the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program that did not qualify with that program's lending requirements. These defective loans violated the False Claims Act because the FHA mortgage insurance program is left on the hook when its insured mortgages go into foreclosure.
A military contractor that manufactures helicopter landing systems for U.S. Navy destroyers has recently settled a claim that it knowingly substituted cheaper steel than the Navy contract specified but still billed for the contract amount. This violated the federal False Claims Act, according to the Justice Department. Indal Technologies, Inc., a division of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve the allegations.