For four years running, False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries have topped $3.5 billion. In fiscal year 2015, $3.58 billion was recovered in total, with $2.91 billion of that amount resulting from cases brought by whistleblowers. It is a new and commendable record.
The portion that was recovered due to the admirable efforts of whistleblowers–$2.91 billion—resulted in another record amount, this one for the awards paid to the whistleblowers: $597.6 million. Still another all-time high was set by the total amount given to whistleblowers in declined cases—$334.6 million. (Declined cases are those in which the government decides not to join in the case, leaving the whistleblower to move forward on their own.) It’s notable that only 44 percent of award amounts were paid in intervened cases, totaling $263 million. (Intervened cases are those in which the government does join the case.)
2015’s Biggest Whistleblower Awards
Here are a few of the biggest awards to whistleblowers in fiscal year 2015:
- An anonymous whistleblower received $11.6 million from the Internal Revenue Service in a tax noncompliance case.
- A company insider was given $3 million for their whistleblower efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was the third-highest whistleblower award since Dodd-Frank became law.
- A former executive for Supreme Foodservice, a German citizen, received $16 million for his efforts in bringing Supreme Group to justice. The company is alleged to have deliberately overcharged U.S. troops in Afghanistan for food and water, and not in compliance with what was stated in their contract. Supreme Group settled for $101 million.
Awards Not Yet Made for 2015 Large Whistleblower-Initiated Recoveries
Here are some of the biggest 2015 recovery cases for which the whistleblower awards have not yet been released to the public. Keep in mind that a whistleblower’s award usually ranges from 15 to 30 percent of the recovered amount.
- A settlement with Adventist Health Systems amounted to $118.7 million (the federal government’s portion is $115 million).
- Claims were settled with the government by DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., the leading provider of dialysis services, when they paid roughly $800 million.
- Two labs, Health Diagnostic Laboratories (Richmond, VA) and Singulex Inc. (Alameda, CA) settled for $48.5 million. They were accused of paying doctors for referrals for unnecessary blood tests. A doctor from Hilton Head, SC, helped expose these labs.
Whistleblowers play an important part in our justice system, helping reduce fraud and waste. They are “stand-up” persons who have enabled the U.S. government to bring fraudsters to light and obtain settlements in the tens of billions. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer, the Justice Department’s Civil Division head, reminds us that, “The False Claims Act has again proven to be the government’s most effective civil tool to ferret out fraud and return billions to taxpayer-funded programs.”
Blowing the Whistle? We Can Help You with Your Next Step.
If you think you have the facts needed to bring a whistleblower case, the experienced whistleblower attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm can review your case and help you file the appropriate disclosure statement. Under some circumstances, the government will intervene, or join in your lawsuit.
Your chances of succeeding are greater if your whistleblower claim is substantive, clear, and to the point. Because of this, meeting with a qualified whistleblower attorney can increase your chances of winning.
The Louthian Law Firm can help you form your claim so that the government will be more inclined to intervene in your case; government intervention can sometimes increase the chances of recovering reward money. Even if the government decides not to intervene, it could still be a good idea to pursue your case without government involvement. Our strong support system can assist you through every step of the process.
For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today at 1-803-454-1200 or, if you prefer, you can fill out our online contact form.