False Claims Act civil penalties increased

posted on:
February 15, 2017

author:
Archie Grubb

The False Claims Act (FCA) provides a means by which whistleblowers may file suit on behalf of the United States to recover for fraud committed against the federal government. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the penalties under the False Claims Act would once again increase.

The increases are pursuant to The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Act requires annual re-indexing of FCA penalties for inflation. On Feb. 3, 2017, the minimum per-claim penalty increased from $10,781 to $10,957, and the maximum per claim penalty increased from $21,563 to $21,916. These adjusted civil penalty amounts are applicable only to civil penalties assessed after Feb. 3, 2017, whose associated violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.

Increasing the FCA’s civil penalties strengthens the government’s negotiating position in FCA cases. This strengthened position helps the government secure additional settlements and larger civil penalties. The penalty increase does more than keep up with inflation; it also is a vital tool that returns additional taxpayer money to the Treasury so it can be spent in the way it was intended.

The war on fraud is fought not by soldiers, but by ordinary citizens. The FCA provides citizens the opportunity to combat fraud accompanied with monetary incentives and statutory protection. Whistleblowers who file FCA claims are eligible for a reward up to 30 percent of the amount recovered by the government. Additionally, the FCA provides protection from retaliation against whistleblowers.

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Are you aware of fraud being committed against the federal government, or a state government? If so, the FCA can protect and reward you for doing the right thing by reporting the fraud. If you have any questions about whether you qualify as a whistleblower, please contact an attorney at Beasley Allen for a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. There is a contact form on this website, or you may email one of the lawyers on our whistleblower litigation team: Archie Grubb, Larry Golston, Lance Gould or Andrew Brashier

Source: Office of the Federal Register

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