The federal government collected a record-breaking $5.7 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries in fiscal year (FY) 2014, up from $3.8 billion in FY 2013. The increased recoveries, which continue a trend during the Obama Administration, are likely to lead to even greater numbers of qui tam suits, as potential relators seek to capitalize on the government’s success. In FY 2014, relators filed over 700 new qui tam cases, nearly as many as the 753 new qui tam suits in FY 2013.
While the Administration and relators continued to press for expansive interpretations of the FCA, this past year saw increased debate, including in Congress, about possible FCA reform, a process in which WilmerHale played a central part. The Supreme Court may take steps to narrow the FCA’s reach via the statute of limitations and the first-to-file bar, while lower courts continue to divide on a number of issues with enormous consequences for FCA defendants.
WilmerHale’s comprehensive review of False Claims Act developments surveys significant federal decisions, settlements, and recently filed or unsealed complaints; legislative and regulatory changes at both the federal and state levels; changes in investigation and litigation strategy by whistleblowers, state attorneys general, and federal prosecutors; and proposals for reform of the FCA. By looking back over 2014, the report also provides an important guide to changes on the horizon for 2015.
Read the False Claims Act: 2014 Year-in-Review.