False Claims Act (FCA)

The False Claims Act (FCA) penalizes those who knowingly submit false claims seeking government funds or to avoid paying government debts. Although well intentioned, the law has transformed into a profitable enterprise for plaintiffs’ lawyers and their clients, while hurting American businesses. Total monetary damages under the False Claims Act have risen from $272 million in 1992 to over $2.8 billion in FY 2018. Read More...

The law allows the government to pursue any government contractor suspected of making “false claims” about their goods or services to the government. The law also allows third-party whistleblowers (called qui tam relators) to sue in the name of the government and to keep a large part of any recovery. The statute also allows for treble damages (damages three times the amount of the alleged fraud) as well as significant penalties. Recently the DOJ moved to dismiss some qui tam FCA cases, signifying a positive change in an attempt to address substantial abuse regarding FCA cases. The DOJ has also made several important and helpful policy changes that provide credit to companies that have appropriate compliance programs, self-report FCA violations, assist the investigation and remediate any harm done to the government.

While the need for an anti-fraud statute is clear, plaintiffs’ lawyers have benefited enormously from these FCA lawsuits. Broad language and over-enforcement practices have stimulated significant abuse, turning, in some cases, what should be simple disagreements and paperwork errors into claims for fraud. The U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform (ILR) actively works to promote reforms that will restore fairness and transparency.

Suggested Resources

Research
  • Lighting the Way: FCA Reform and Compliance Program Credit

    Lighting the Way: FCA Reform and Compliance Program Credit

    June 27, 2018

    This paper contends that in order to encourage companies to create and sustain a culture of consistent compliance, particularly with regard to the federal False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice should formalize a policy of offering credit for companies that implement effective compliance and ethics programs. Read More

  • Lawsuit Ecosystem II: New Trends, Targets and Players

    Lawsuit Ecosystem II: New Trends, Targets and Players

    December 04, 2014

    This report, authored by a distinguished group of practitioners, explores the evolving lawsuit "ecosystem." It considers how plaintiffs' lawyers generate litigation and significant developments that will spur more lawsuits or rein in excessive liability. Read More

All Results for False Claims Act (FCA)

  1. ILR's EVP Harold Kim Calls DOJ Motion a "Bombshell"

    December 26, 2018 | News

    In a report on the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) move to seek dismissal of several qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuits, the Pink Sheet, a leading Pharmaceutical news outlet, says the use of the Granston memo should "be a morale booster" to those who have pointed to abuse of the whistleblower system.... Read More

  2. "DOJ: Company Wasted 1,500 Hours of Gov't Time Filing Meritless Suits"

    December 19, 2018 | News

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was looking to dismiss 11 False Claims Act lawsuits after learning a company used a cookie-cutter-style model and major plaintiffs' lawyers to file qui tam lawsuits that were "essentially cloned," Law360 reports.... Read More

  3. ILR Research Review - Fall 2018

    November 20, 2018 | Research

    ILR's Fall 2018 research cycle was about two things: spotting new, destructive legal trends before they become unstoppable, and highlighting concrete progress in addressing long-standing litigation challenges. The 2018 Fall Research Review reveals the exploding costs of the U.S. tort system, and examines developments in securities litigation, forum shopping, False Claims Act policy reform, and the European Commission's project to implement class actions.... Read More

  4. How Escobar Is Affecting False Claims Act Litigation

    November 01, 2018 | News

    Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark Universal Health Services v. Escobar decision, Law360 looks at how courts across the country are interpreting and applying it to False Claims Act (FCA) litigation.... Read More

  5. In the News Today - October 1, 2018

    October 01, 2018 | News

    DOJ Official: Department and Business Should Be "Partners, Not Adversaries;" "Dismissing FCA Cases: The Granston Memo In Action;" DOJ Objects to Bankruptcy Trust Appointment; Find Out What's Trending at ILR's Summit XX: Law, Policy, Politics... Read More

  6. In the News Today - September 20, 2018

    September 20, 2018 | News

    "Third Circuit Clarifies Public Disclosure Bar in False Claims Act"... Read More

  7. In the News Today - September 6, 2018

    September 06, 2018 | News

    "Why Escobar Materiality Rule Applies To California FCA"... Read More

  8. In the News Today - August 29, 2018

    August 29, 2018 | News

    Healthcare Group Asks for TCPA Clarity; Recent Decision Adds to "Growing Consensus" on False Claims Act Test... Read More

  9. In the News Today - August 27, 2018

    August 27, 2018 | News

    West Virginia Governor Appoints Two to Open Supreme Court Seats; Ninth Circuit: SCOTUS Escobar Ruling Created a Mandatory Test for FCA Liability... Read More

  10. Defense Attorneys Examine "Circuit Split" on False Claims Act Dismissals

    August 22, 2018 | News

    In a Law360 analysis piece, two defense attorneys from Wiley Rein LLP examine the growing circuit split on the U.S. Department of Justice's authority to dismiss False Claims Act lawsuits in light of its January Granston memo.... Read More