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,” Mizer said.

 

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.  

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