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Presented by Hodgson Russ, the Whistleblower Blog is written by a team of lawyers experienced in successfully guiding both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing through the False Claims Act process.

Government Fraud Statistics Demonstrate the Enduring Utility of False Claims Act Litigation

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The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division has published a substantial amount of data on the historical success of whistleblower cases and investigations.  The statistics show that whistleblower litigation under the False Claims Act (often referred to as “quit tam” litigation) continues to be the government’s primary weapon in combating fraud.

Since 1987, the Department of Justice has recorded 13,281 whistleblower investigations and lawsuits, recovering over $44.7 billion in judgments and settlements.  About 94% of that total recovery arose from whistleblower lawsuits where the government intervened.  Government intervention is often critical to a successful whistleblower case.  The quality of evidence —and the quality and experience of whistleblower counsel—plays a key role in government intervention decisions.

Under the False Claims Act, a successful whistleblower is entitled to a share of the government’s recovery.  Data provided by the Department of Justice shows that whistleblowers have been rewarded significantly for their efforts, receiving more than $7.3 billion in share awards since 1987.  In 2019 alone, awards to whistleblowers exceeded $270 million. 

There have been interesting activity peaks in whistleblower litigation under the False Claims Act.  Quit tam cases and investigations rose sharply during 1997-1999, 2000-2003, and 2010-2016.  2014 was a particularly active period, with more than $4.4 billion recovered in judgments and settlements, and share awards to whistleblowers of more than $700 million.  Further, the federal government recovered more than $2 billion per year in whistleblower cases during 2010-2016. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has been a leading client agency in whistleblower cases.  Of the $44.7 billion recovered since 1987, almost $34 billion was obtained in cases where the Department of Health and Human Services was the primary client.  This is largely the result of the Department of Justice’s continued pursuit of whistleblower cases in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Click here to view our Healthcare Fraud Micrographic outlining more statistics related to this industry group.

Whistleblower litigation remains a major tool in the government’s anti-fraud arsenal.  Whistleblowers with knowledge of schemes to defraud government agencies should consult with experienced counsel to determine whether their claims can be heard.

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Hodgson Russ is one of only a few major law firms that represents both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing. This unusual perspective means we are exceptionally well positioned to advise whistleblowers about potential claims.

We are not a "whistleblower mill" that pays little attention to the needs of its clients or the factual nuances of complex cases. Rather, we are a team of highly experienced lawyers that selects only the best cases, affording us the time and focus to become fully immersed in the factual and legal details necessary to bring cases to successful resolution.