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Department-of-Justice-200x300 3The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has recovered a record $5.69 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government during the 2014 fiscal year, ending September 30. Historically, this is the first time the department has exceeded $5 billion in recoveries for cases brought under the False Claims Act, and brings total recoveries over the past five years to $22.75 billion. This total accounts for more than half of all recoveries since Congress amended the False Claims Act 28 years ago in order to strengthen the statute and increase the incentives for whistleblowers to file suit. Most false claims actions are filed under the statute’s qui tam provisions that allow individuals (known as whistleblowers or relators) to file suits on behalf of the government alleging fraud. The number of qui tam suits filed in fiscal year 2014 exceeded 700 for the second year in a row with whistleblowers receiving $435 million in rewards from the $3 billion recovered in cases that they initiated. Continue reading