The Department of Justice recently announced that it obtained more than $3 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act in 2019. The source of most of these payouts was qui tam actions filed by whistleblowers. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers may be entitled to significant financial compensation when they provide information that helps the federal government collect funds that were fraudulently obtained. If you have information that pertains to fraud against the federal government, you should contact a False Claims Act attorney as soon as possible. Below are four False Claims Act areas to watch in 2020.
One area to keep an eye on in 2020 is False Claims Act liability stemming from noncompliance with cybersecurity requirements. For example, in 2019, a district court in California declined to dismiss a qui tam whistleblower’s allegations that a government contractor knowingly submitted false certifications of compliance. And in another 2019 case, a software company was involved in the first False Claims Act settlement involving cybersecurity. Based on this recent activity, cybersecurity is predicted to play a significant role in future False Claims Act cases.
DOJ Cooperation Credit Guidelines
Last year, the Department of Justice issued guidelines regarding cooperation credit for defendants in False Claims Act cases. Under these new guidelines, a company may be eligible for cooperation credit if it voluntarily discloses wrongdoing, cooperates in ongoing investigations and settlements, or takes effective remedial actions. These new guidelines are predicted to impact False Claims Act cases significantly in 2020.
Implied False Certification Issues
Lower courts are expected to continue to struggle with how to interpret a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which held that False Claims Act liability may be based on an implied false certification theory. Under this theory, a claim may be deemed false for purposes of liability under the False Claims Act based on an implied representation that the one who submitted the claim is in compliance with all applicable regulations, statutes, and contract provisions. Depending on how the lower courts interpret this issue, this may open the door for False Claims Act cases that otherwise may have been dismissed in the past.
Begin Your False Claim Act Lawsuit Today
If you have knowledge that an entity has committed fraud against the U.S. government, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. In fact, due to the large sums involved in most False Claims Act cases, whistleblowers often receive rewards that exceed $1 million. However, you must act fast. The False Claims Act is a “first to file” statute, which means that only the whistleblower who first reports the fraud to the government is entitled to a monetary reward. Therefore, if you have information that may help the government recover funds that were fraudulently obtained, please contact our False Claims Act attorney as soon as possible.