A January 10th memo released by the Department of Justice states that attorneys should consider dismissing “meritless” and “parasitic” whistleblower cases filed under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA allows citizens to sue on the government’s behalf, should they report evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse of taxpayer dollars. Whistleblowers (called “relators” in this context), who file qui tam lawsuits under the FCA, are eligible to receive monetary rewards from the funds recovered.

Continue Reading DOJ Recommends Dismissing “Meritless” Whistleblower Cases

As a young attorney, Jeffrey Wertkin joined the Department of Justice where he investigated and litigated False Claims Act cases filed by whistleblowers. After six years fighting fraud for the government, working side by side with whistleblowers, Wertkin made the jump to the prestigious corporate law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Continue Reading Former DOJ Lawyer Goes Rogue, Turns Criminal

Last week, the Department of Justice announced that it collected $3.7 billion in settlements and judgements from False Claim Act (FCA) cases against the government in 2017. The FCA is a statute that allows individual whistleblowers, called relators in this context, to file lawsuits on behalf of the government.

Known as Lincoln’s Law, the FCA was originally passed in the Civil War when avaricious contractors supplied the Union with faulty weapons and failing supplies. Over the last decade, FCA cases filed have grown in number and become one of the government’s premier tools for policing corporate fraud.


Continue Reading Whistleblowers Save Taxpayers $3.4 Billion

October 12, 2016. Washington, D.C. Monday, the National Whistleblower Center and FBI whistleblowers Fred Whitehurst, Jane Turner, Mike German and Robert Kobus (Amici) filed an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The brief was filed in Parkinson v. Department of Justice in support of John C. Parkinson, a former FBI special agent and Iraq war veteran.
Continue Reading FBI Whistleblowers Ask Federal Circuit to Uphold Whistleblower Protections for FBI Employees

Washington D.C. October 9, 2016.  Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (Och-Ziff), A New York-based alternative investment and hedge fund manager, agreed to pay a combined total amount of U.S. criminal and regulatory penalties of approximately $412 million to settle charges it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In separate announcements yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) each described the actions of Och-Ziff which led to the charges the company violated the FCPA.
Continue Reading Och-Ziff Hedge Fund Pays Over $400 Million to Settle Foreign Bribery Charges

Washington, D.C. June 22, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in a pending False Claims Act case, U.S. ex rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., No. 04-0280 (D.D.C.), setting forth the DOJ’s official position on the impact of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision announced last week in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 579 U.S. ___, slip op. No. 15-7 (June 16, 2016). In its filing today, the DOJ argues that the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Escobar discussion that a contractor’s “misleading half-truths” to the government “unequivocally supports the United States’ argument” in the Westrick case that Toyobo Co. Lt. and Toyobo America, Inc. (collectively Toyobo) “had a legal duty to disclose” its knowledge that the degradation of Zylon bullet-proof vests that it sold to the government “contradicted Toyobo’s misrepresentations about the superiority” of those vests.
Continue Reading Justice Department’s First Public Statement on Supreme Court’s Unanimous Escobar Decision Slams Toyobo’s “Half-Truths” in Pending False Claims Act Whistleblower Suit

The Department of Justice announced settlements in the listed False Claims Act lawsuits, January through May 2016. The Act permits cases to be brought under the qui tam, or whistleblowerprovisions which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. Over 42 billion dollars has been recovered from government contract fraud through False Claims Act whistleblower cases since 1986.

Click the headline to read the DOJ press release for each case:


Continue Reading Whistleblowers Receive Rewards in False Claims Act Settlements

The Department of Justice announced settlements in the following False Claims Act lawsuits:

First Tennessee Bank N.A. Agrees to Pay $212.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability Arising from FHA-Insured Mortgage Lending

First Tennessee Bank N.A. has agreed to pay the United States $212.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements, the Justice Department announced.  First Tennessee is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. 
Continue Reading June 2015 False Claims Act Settlements, Part 1

The Department of Justice recently announced the settlements, listed below, in False Claims Act cases. The False Claims Act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government those who falsely claim federal funds or avoid paying funds owed to the government.  The United States may intervene in and take over the lawsuit.  The False Claims Act also allows the whistleblower to receive a share of any funds recovered through the lawsuit. The False Claims Act is one of the most powerful tools to combat government contract fraud.  Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $23.8 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $15.2 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to Pay $44 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has agreed to pay $44 million to settle allegations under the False Claims Act that it knowingly issued insurance policies that were ineligible under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) federal crop insurance program and falsified documents.  Fireman’s Fund, an Allianz SE subsidiary headquartered in Novato, California, provides personal and commercial property insurance throughout the United States.
Continue Reading Millions Recovered In DOJ False Claims Act Settlements

The Department of Justice recently announced the settlements, listed below, in False Claims Act cases. The False Claims Act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government those who falsely claim federal funds or avoid paying funds owed to the government.  The United States may intervene in and take over the lawsuit.  The False Claims Act also allows the whistleblower to receive a share of any funds recovered through the lawsuit. The False Claims Act is one of the most powerful tools to combat government contract fraud.  Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $23.8 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $15.2 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.

Gilbane Building Company to Pay $1.1 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations

Gilbane Building Company will pay the United States $1.1 million to resolve allegations that W.G. Mills Incorporated – a company with which Gilbane merged in November 2010 – violated the False Claims Act by creating a front company, Veterans Constructors Incorporated (VCI), in order to be awarded a Coast Guard contract that was designated for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs), the Justice Department announced today.  The Justice Department also announced that VCI has agreed to pay the United States $50,000 plus five annual contingency payments equal to one percent of VCI’s total annual revenues to resolve these same allegations.
Continue Reading Recent False Claims Act Settlements