In recent years, cases alleging customs and tariff fraud have grown in number. This is due to both the increased use of tariffs as a policy tool of the United States government, as well as the increased knowledge among people working in the importing and logistics businesses about the availability of the False Claims Act as a tool they can use to help stop fraud and evasion.
Cybercrime is a rising concern both in the United States and worldwide. In order to address rising crime rates and costs of data breaches, governmental agencies are now empowered to respond with the full scope of the False Claims Act. Individual whistleblowers can now report cyber fraud under this federal legislation to help hold businesses that contract with the government accountable. This change better protects private data and helps prevents financial fraud.
Private companies authorized to sell goods and services to the government provide billions of dollars of critical infrastructure, equipment, expertise, and much more to support a wide range of government programs that keep the government working and serving taxpayers every day. In this very competitive environment, the government contractor must execute these contracts without fraud, abuse, or misconduct.
Healthcare fraud is a top priority of the United States Department of Justice’s enforcement efforts under the False Claims Act. Over a recent four-year period, 80% of the $11.4 billion recovered by the Department of Justice under the False Claims Act was in healthcare fraud cases. Those cases involved fraud in the Medicare, Medicaid and other taxpayer-funded healthcare programs. The primary way the Department of Justice uncovered the fraud that led to these recoveries was from reports by whistleblowers. Over that same four year period, whistleblowers received more than $1.54 billion as their share of these recoveries.
The False Claims Act applies to any government program that provides money to companies or people outside the government. In other parts of this website, we discuss how the False Claims Act applies to government-funded healthcare programs and government contracts, two significant examples of government programs covered by the Act.
The United States Department of Justice and other federal agencies have been aggressively investigating fraud related to securities, commodities, banking, and lending practices. The Department of Justice has recovered nearly $8 billion in mortgage fraud alone. Often the government uncovers the fraud thanks to reports from whistleblowers. By the end of 2020, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission had awarded over $740 million to whistleblowers. By that same period, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission recovered nearly $1 billion for commodities-related fraud and paid whistleblowers more than $120 million.