The U.S. Justice Department recovered nearly $5 billion under the False Claims Act int he hear ending Sept. 30, Main Justice reports. It was a $1.7 billion increase from last year’s number. Officials said the department focused on financial fraud as well as other major categories such as health care fraud. The government settled with five major banks for $25 billion in abusive mortgage practices, only some of which was allocated to the False Claims Act.
Another large recovery came out of the health care industry, with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline paying $3 billion to resolve allegations it illegally marketed drugs and withheld safety data from U.S. regulators. That originated from a whistleblower. Whistleblower recoveries totalled $3.3 billion in nearly 650 cases. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said the False Claims act is “an unsung hero in the fight to root out fraud against the federal treasury, and said whistleblowers are “key to the recoveries.”