The Source: Record-Setting Year In Corporate Fraud Settlements
More than $22 billion in taxpayer money has been recovered since 2009, in cases against corporations defrauding the government related to the False Claims Act.
This year alone the Department of Justice recovered $5.69 billion, setting the single-year record in recoveries. This is the third year in a row the DOJ has increased its record. The number of cases taken up by the DOJ has swelled, as well, to over 700 per year, doubling the number from a decade ago.
The past few years have seen record-setting settlements from huge corporations like Johnson & Johnson, who paid $2.2 billion in 2012, and drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, who paid out $3 billion in 2013.
But there have been thousands of smaller cases with settlements for matters ranging from the absurd, like charging the government for parts that never actually existed--as was the case with some defense contractors--to the horrendous: Earlier this year, a Kentucky medical center paid $41 million to settle allegations it was implanting cardiac stents in people who didn't need them, so they could charge Medicare and Medicaid.
Many of those cases involved whistleblowers, people who came forward to expose their employers fraudulent actions at great risk to their careers. While their are large monetary rewards for those cases that win, often times when the government joins a whistleblower case, the psychological toll it takes can be extreme. Reprisals from employers often happen and people who have done it say it is unlikely you will be able to work in your chosen field again.
What would it take for you to report fraud against the government?
- Patrick Burns, co-director of Taxpayers Against Fraud
- Glenn Grossenbacher, private-practice attorney specializing in qui tam, or whistleblower, cases.
- James Holzrichter, former whistleblower, now runs a consultancy for people reporting employers defrauding the government.