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False Claims Act: Regulators busy, wrongdoers not in short supply

The U.S. False Claims Act, which addresses fraudulent claims against federal entities, has clearly stood the test of time. The legislation dates back to Abraham Lincoln's presidency and is still routinely invoked in cases probing civil and criminal wrongdoing in the fraud realm.

As noted in a recent article chronicling FCA money recoveries for fraud committed against the government  (and, thus, taxpayers), such cases are far from lacking.

In fact, they are disturbingly consistent, and even on the upswing. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that fraud outcomes (including settlements) against health care actors have raked in more than $2 billion annually for eight years running.

We assert on our consumer protection website at the Connecticut law firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah that, based on such verified information, the FCA "has proven to be an effective and powerful tool" in combating multiple forms of fraud.

In fact, FCA recoveries cumulatively amounted to a whopping $3.7 billion over the federal government's most recent fiscal year.

As impressive as such investigative and prosecutorial results are, it merits noting, too, that the multibillion dollar collection does not include recoveries secured by state authorities in FCA probes. Those often recoup millions of additional dollars for defrauded taxpayers.

The most high-profile recoveries typically involve recoveries that readers might reasonably regard as being almost unbelievable.

One example: Shire Pharmaceuticals settled with federal regulators to the tune of $350 million for its alleged involvement in inducing medical professionals to use its equipment by bribing them and paying for the commission of nonfactual clinical studies.

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