More than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgments from whistleblower cases involving fraud against the government were had in 2016 ending Sept. 30. Of the $4.7 billion recovered, $2.5 billion came from the health care industry, including drug companies, medical device companies, hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, and physicians. In many of these cases, the Department was instrumental in recovering additional millions of dollars for state Medicaid programs.
The next largest recoveries came from the financial industry in the wake of the housing and mortgage fraud crisis. Settlements and judgments in cases alleging false claims in connection with federally insured residential mortgages totaled nearly $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2016 – the second highest annual recovery in this area.
Most false claims actions are filed under those whistleblower, or qui tam, provisions. If the government prevails in the action, the whistleblower, also known as the relator, receives up to 30 percent of the recovery. Whistleblowers filed 702 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2016, and the Department recovered $2.9 billion in these and earlier filed suits this past year. The government awarded the whistleblowers $519 million during the same period.