WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — Principal deputy assistant attorney general Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s
Civil Division, announced Dec. 14 that the department has obtained more than $4.7
billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false
claims against the government in the fiscal year 2016 ending Sept. 30.
“Congress amended the False Claims
Act 30 years ago to give the government a more effective tool against false and
fraudulent claims against federal programs,” Mizer said.
Mizer noted that roughly 60 percent of all recoveries have
been obtained in the last eight years. According to Mizer, beneficiaries of the
recoveries include veterans, the elderly, low-income families insured by federal
health care programs, and students supported by federally insured loans.
“In short, Americans across the
country are healthier, enjoy a better quality of life, and are safer because of
our continuing success in protecting taxpayer funds from misuse,”
About $2.5 billion of the recoveries came from the health care
industry – from drug companies, medical device companies, hospitals, nursing
homes, laboratories and physicians. The department recovered a significant
amount of money – close to $1.7 billion – from the financial industry in the
wake of the housing and mortgage fraud crisis.