According to current figures from the U.S. Department of Justice, since 2009, legal claims brought under the federal False Claims Act have led to the recovery of more than $23.9 billion. About 63 percent of that -- more than $15.2 billion -- has been recovered from cases involving fraud against health care programs, including Medicaid and Medicare.
Since the mid-1980s, the federal False Claims Act has been the government's primary tool for fighting fraud against government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The law's qui tam provisions allow whistleblowers to bring lawsuits against companies and individuals that defraud the government, and whistleblowers have collectively received billions of dollars in rewards for blowing the whistle on fraud.
The federal False Claims Act allows individuals, called relators, to bring lawsuits -- qui tam claims -- on behalf of the government, and the relators may collect a portion of any amount of money the government recovers. Since the mid-1980s, the United States government has recovered more than $15 billion through qui tam claims, and that figure continues to rise.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers can receive sizable awards for notifying the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) of securities fraud. The first payout -- close to $50,000 -- was made in 2012, and the whistleblower program continues to be effective. The S.E.C. is authorized to award between 10 and 30 percent of a sum collected by the government as a result of information provided by a whistleblower.
Under the qui tam provisions in the federal False Claims Act (FCA), employees, corporations, and private or public interest organizations may sue a company that defrauds the federal government. The legal action is brought on behalf of the government and the whistleblower, and an individual who brings a qui tam claim may stand to receive a sizable reward.