The U.S. Justice Department’s False Claims Act resolutions, which totaled more than $500 million in the first half of the year, have outpaced activity in the comparable period in 2021, but many of them have been “relatively modest,” a law firm said in a report published on Wednesday.
The FCA allows private parties to bring whistleblower, or qui tam, actions alleging that defendants defrauded the federal government.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP reported more than $393 million in resolutions in its comparable 2021 semi-annual report.
The law firm says in this year’s report that “it remains to be seen whether the DOJ will match the recoveries obtained in 2021, which included blockbuster settlements stemming from the opioid crisis.”
The U.S. Department of Justice said it obtained more than $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government under the FCA for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021.
Gibson Dunn said some of the most notable settlements this year reflect continued fallout from COVID-19 and a new DOJ initiative around cyber fraud.
– In February, Arlington, Virginia-based Zen Solutions Inc. agreed to pay $31,000 in damages and civil penalties to resolve DOJ allegations that it violated the FCA by obtaining more than one Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020.
– The DOJ said in April that Tampa, Fla.-based Physician Partners of America LLC and its chief medical officer would pay $24.5 million to settle allegations that they violated the FCA by billing federal health care programs for unnecessary medical tests and services, paying illegally compensating its medical employees and making a false statement in connection with a loan obtained through the Paycheck Protection Program.
– In March, Cape Canaveral, Fla.-based Comprehensive Health Services LLC said it would pay $930,000 to settle allegations that it violated the FCA by falsely certifying to the US State Dept. and the Air Force that they had met the contract requirements related to the provision of their medical services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The DOJ said in its statement that this was the first settlement of an FCA case involving cyber fraud since the launch of the Civil-Cyber-Fraud initiative.
In July, the Justice Department said rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne agreed to pay $9 million to settle allegations that it misrepresented its compliance with cybersecurity requirements in federal contracts, amid FCA litigation filed by a whistleblower.