Regular readers of this blog know that part of what makes the False Claims Act such a powerful tool is its qui tam provision which allows individuals to bring claims for repayment on the government’s behalf. This is important because the government cannot police every single claim it pays and individuals who witness fraud and act on that knowledge are critical to the fight against fraud. A recent trend in litigation under the Act involves individuals in a very different sense – individual liability under the False Claims Act. Our whistleblowers’ law firm for fraud on the government is watching this trend and is prepared to help honest individuals fight fraud committed by both organizations and individuals.
DOJ Focuses in on Individual Liability for Corporate Wrongdoing
At the beginning of the year, Becker’s Hospital Review, a leader in healthcare industry information, published a piece entitled “5 False Claims Act Trends, Cases that will Fuel Recoveries in 2016.” One of the trends identified in this article is a “spotlight on individual liability” whereby the government is increasingly holding individuals, not just the companies they work for, liable for fraud. This stance grows, in part, out of a Department of Justice (“DOJ”) memorandum issued in September 2015 that discusses steps the DOJ is taking to increase legal accountability for individual corporate wrongdoing. One change announced in the memo is that corporations will only receive credit for cooperating with an investigation if they reveal the names of the individuals involved in the fraud.