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Trump administration vigorously enforcing False Claims Act: Study


The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing False Claims Act cases and is expected to continue to do so, says a law firm analysis.

“We do not expect there to be significant changes in FCA enforcement, and we expect that the Department of Justice and private qui tam plaintiffs,” who file whistleblower suits, “will continue to brandish the FCA as a powerful weapon,” says the report issued Friday by Los Angeles-based Gibson Dunn & Crutcher L.L.P.

“Enforcement of the FCA, although slightly less active during 2017 than 2016, shows little signs of a long-term letup,” says the report. “To the contrary, the FCA remains a significant source of government-facing and private plaintiff litigation.”

The U.S. Department of Justice announced in December that it had recovered more than $3.7 billion from False Claims Act cases in fiscal year 2017, which compares with more than $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2016.

The Gibson Dunn report says 2017 was the eighth straight year in which the federal government has recovered more than $3 billion in FCA cases, and in which more than 700 new cases were filed, including 799 in 2016.

It said although total recoveries were lower in fiscal year 2017 than in 2016, “the past year also marked the fourth-highest yearly haul ever for the federal government.”

“And despite hints from isolated elements of the Trump administration that there may be some interest in reining in perceived overreach with the FCA, top DOJ officials have reaffirmed their dedication to stringent enforcement of the statute,” says the report.