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. From Theory to Practice: DOJ Asserts Its Rightful Authority

    August 01, 2018 | Blogs

    For more than 30 years, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has largely declined to take action against frivolous litigation under the False Claims Act (FCA)-but that's starting to change.... Read More

  2. Lighting the Way: FCA Reform and Compliance Program Credit

    June 27, 2018 | Research

    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

  3. In the News Today - June 18, 2018

    June 18, 2018 | News

    Associate Attorney General Cites Importance of Corporate Compliance Culture; Australian Attorney General Backs Licensing as "Sensible Approach" to Regulation of Third Party Litigation Funding... Read More

  4. ILR Research Review - Spring 2018

    May 31, 2018 | Research

    The Spring 2018 ILR Research Review explores a wide range of long-standing and emerging issues in legislation, regulation, and litigation, including artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, state qui tam False Claims Acts, West Virginia legal reforms, and asbestos bankruptcy trusts.... Read More

  5. Plaintiffs' Lawyers Looking for Absurd Attorneys' Fees Had a Rough Week

    May 14, 2018 | Blogs

    If two's a coincidence and three's a trend, what would you call six headlines in one week?... Read More

  6. In the News Today - April 26, 2018

    April 26, 2018 | News

    Firms To Pay $800K More Amid Billable Hour Probe; The False Claims Act in 2017 and What to Watch in 2018... Read More

  7. The Great Myths of State False Claims Acts

    February 28, 2018 | Research

    The 2018 update to "Great Myths of State False Claims Acts" shows that the whistleblowers' bar is continuing to capitalize on state qui tam False Claims Acts (FCAs), harvesting windfall awards from states and the federal government. The paper also points out that the dubious benefits of implementing a state FCA turn into a clear financial net negative when states allow their FCAs to fall out of compliance with federal standards.... Read More

  8. In the News Today - February 27, 2018

    February 27, 2018 | News

    DOJ Memo Addresses 'Parasitic' Whistleblower Cases Under False Claims Act; GKC Founders, Burford Execs Launch Plaintiff-Side Litigation Firm... Read More

  9. Customs Laws Could Be Next False Claims Act Front

    January 30, 2018 | News

    The Wall Street Journal reports that whistleblower lawyers may have found a new angle to pursue False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuits: customs and import cases.... Read More

  10. In the News Today - January 30, 2018

    January 30, 2018 | News

    Debate Continues About WV Intermediate Appeals Court; Orange Juice Decision Shows the True Silliness of Many Food Lawsuits; False Claims Act Teleforum on February 1... Read More