The False Claims Act (FCA) should be on the radar of any company doing business, directly or indirectly, with the US government. The FCA is a statute that has been used aggressively to pursue allegations of government programme fraud and submission of false claims for payment – enforcement of the FCA has increased dramatically over the last three decades, and the cases brought often result in steep penalties and the risk of corresponding criminal charges. In the US fiscal year 2017 alone, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that it had obtained over $3.7bn in settlements and judgments from FCA cases – the eighth straight year in which FCA cases have yielded over $3bn in recoveries – and there were nearly 800 new FCA matters filed. Several recent DOJ policy announcements suggest trends that companies faced with potential FCA liability should also be attentive to in seeking to resolve such matters.

The FCA is a US federal statute that imposes liability on companies and individuals that defraud the federal government or any of the programmes it administers, such as Medicare and the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance programme. The statute covers claims for money or property made to the US government or to a government contractor, grantee or other recipient. The FCA has a broad reach, as the US government is one of the world’s largest consumers of services and goods across all sectors of industry.

Oct-Dec 2018 Issue

Goodwin Procter LLP